I want to talk about divorce.

I want to talk about divorce. Specifically, mine.

I want you to know that the “D” word holds no negative connotation in our situation. There is no guilt, resentment or regret in my heart. Nor with my ex husband. It’s been 7 months. Maybe 8. The divorce itself was quick, seamless. Painful. It would be a lie to say that ending something that important doesn’t hurt. Perhaps just a bit less than we both expected. It was a 2 week process handled by only one legal representative who sought out the best interests for all of us.

What makes a marriage fall apart? It didn’t. I loved my ex husband and I know that he loved me. We love each other still. I don’t believe that you can share a life and raise children with someone and ever stop having a bond with them. It’s unfathomable. We created life together, from our own flesh. We shared love, and happiness and a bed. We shared tears and grocery bills and sometimes scraped to get by. We made joint sacrifices. We nested and moved cities, moved homes, unpacked houses and shared a bathroom. Our bodies. Our secrets. That kind of relationship cannot be undone and never should be. We are permanently bonded to the people who we shared ourselves with, in whatever shape that bond lives.

I married my best friend and tried to make him a husband.

Our relationship was based on a familiar friendship, love and compatibility. We foresaw these as the perfect ingredients for marriage. We are a great team. We were (and still are) used to and comfortable in each other’s company. There were a lot of missing elements and undiagnosed factors in our relationship that we didn’t recognise in the beginning. These factors of course enlarged and grew more important as the years tore in to us, no matter how hard we fought them; and trust me: we did.

We fought for each other, our marriage and our friendship when we probably shouldn’t have. We pushed each other’s boundaries year on year in total silence. We made each other lonely. We made each other sad, and restless – and we hated ourselves for it. I know I did. We sought qualities in each other that neither ever possessed.

This is the thing: You marry someone at a time when you are both happy and they fill your holes with the qualities they have. Like… (just examples) maybe you’re a needy person and your partner is an affectionate person: MATCH. Maybe you’re an unorganised person and he is tidy: MATCH – and so it goes. But then years go by and you mature and might find that you’re not a needy person anymore…  but he’s still affectionate. Now… he might feel rejected. Maybe you’ve become super organised but he’s still tidying up after you, so you might suddenly find that annoying. Controlling. Do you see where I’m going with this? We literally un-match as we grow, develop and change. All the bits and pieces that fit so perfectly can (and probably will) slide out of place and it is not. your. fault. It is not. his. fault.

But we make it each other’s fault, don’t we?

On the surface, and even in every day life: we were happy. We could easily have stayed in our marital home for another 10 years. I know that marriage is at times hard and lonely for almost everyone at some point. I strongly believe that it’s an institute worth fighting for. Being married really does mean falling in love with the same person several times.

I want to talk about marriage more because it’s a wonderful, beautiful thing that will rip your soul apart if you don’t give it room to be flawed. It’s not supposed to be perfect. You aren’t supposed to be happy all the time. It won’t fulfill you, and it might uproot everything you never knew about yourself. It will test you, and your sense of hope. When things get bad and you don’t know if they’ll EVER get better but you stay because you promised someone. Him.

You need to have hope.

With marriage comes all the other promises you made to each other too. It’s the breaking of those little ones that snaps the rope that holds you both together. At some point you might both just be standing there, each holding an end of the string and looking to each other for a solution. You can try to knot the pieces to join the string again, and after a few years your rope might be covered in knots and bumps and that’s okay because you’re trying.

Maybe what happened with us is that neither knew how to tie knots properly. Maybe we failed. Maybe we needed to admit that we didn’t have what the other person needed and we never did. I think there’s a maturity in that. An acceptance. Love, even.

We talk every day. We went through a natural adjustment period (read: borderline murder threats) but that was only for a few days. It’s kind of like when you fight with your best friend, and you annoy the hell out of each other…. then you call them a few days later, and it’s like nothing even happened. We hang out, socialise, give each other advice and play with the children together. We are almost exactly the same as we always were – we just don’t live together anymore.

We are going to be in each other’s lives forever. We made that decision when we had Noah – nevermind marriage. He is family. He is friendship, and he is a “daddy”.  At the end of the day, he is my best friend. We’ll still annoy each other sometimes, and we’re fully aware that we’re stuck with each other in the beauty of joint parenthood… and that’s pretty great, because he’s a wonderful father.

And that’s one knotted rope that can’t be undone.

 

10376374_10152048390771296_306446844162207761_n
11
3

I love it so much

I can’t explain how much I love our new house already. I’m here right now and it’s total, beautiful chaos. My garden’s grass is overgrown and there is rubble all over my patio. The boys’ bunk beds won’t fit along the wall I WANT in their room, so I’m having custom ones made. Eventually. The house smells like paint and dust oh man the dust… One day in my eulogy please firmly mention how grateful I was that I did not live in this house while it’s being renovated. Like… yoh. So much respect for people who do live amongst construction because I would rather self harm. SO much has been done and there is so much still to do.

IMG_8234

I’m just so in love with this house. I know I bought it as an investment with The Plan being to renovate and rent out, but I kind of never want to leave? I’m grateful that I got to change it the way I wanted and that I can be here every day to just settle amongst the chaos and appreciate the changes as they happen. This neighbourhood is so great. I have never felt as safe, welcome and at ease in a home before. My bed isn’t here yet, but I slept over by myself last night and crashed on the bottom bunk in the kids room. No sheet (because where is that box even) with a spiderman scatter cushion (obviously) and no kitchen sink. No bathroom (they’re tiling it and no) and no coffee. Not even a kettle lives here yet. My plants are huddled in to a corner, my dressing table is in the lounge and every time I come here, I load my car with boxes and tiny little things that can’t be categorised in to a sealed box.

I played a game of pool at the local pub last night and ate 2 chilli poppers at the “stays open past 9pm” joint and walked to my front door with hand-rattled keys. I’m experimenting with different dishes at the local deli and hung a hook for my handbags today. I brought a tiny little bit of dishwashing liquid in a juice bottle and affectionately washed the 3 glasses that live in this kitchen already. The tiny little things.

Screen Shot 2016-05-11 at 6.55.55 PM

IMG_8315

I’m taking screenshots of nice housey ideas that I find late at night and early in the morning when I can’t sleep because I’m so excited about living here. I bring the dogs for mini visits and we carry Jack down the stairs because he’s too scared to climb down them just yet. The WiFi was installed here yesterday and I spent an unshowered hour on the phone to technicians this morning trying to set up the router. I sent my new home phone number to my entire whatsapp list even though they never phone on my landline; I just want them to know that I’m here. That they can. Everything’s new and fresh and full of dust but it’s wonderful because it’s mine. It’s theirs. It’s ours.

I really love my new house. I love it so much. We all do. Mostly.

Screen Shot 2016-05-11 at 6.56.25 PM

4
0

I bought a house for you.

I sure did. I don’t know if I’m emotionally ready to talk about this yet, because it has been such an absolute mission. I started this process in November last year and when I saw this little house, I could. not. stop. I’d been looking for a little investment property close-ish to UCT that sits in a great neighbourhood and that obviously won’t depreciate over the next 11 years – when the kids move in and settle in to their studies. It’s a sweet 2 bedroom duplex in a tiny little block with a big wrap-around garden. The street is lined with big trees, it’s opposite a beautiful church and adjacent to a community garden and playground. There’s access to the train station close by, and it’s a quick walk to main rd on the current Jamie Shuttle route. There’s a lot of development going on in the area, with phase one recently completed. Man, I did so much research right down to the body corporate and their financials and maintenance plans too. There was a bit of a show-down between the seller and I, and on the third offer we finally found a middle ground.

Buying a house as a sole proprietor is a total nightmare. At one point I genuinely considered taking up a full time job just to make the banks like me more. I’ve always avoided credit and literally don’t have any. Not even a cellphone contract. Nothing. Apparently this is a VERY bad thing, and there were many tears over the phone to the credit bureau about my case. Buying a house with just one income and watching people across a desk comb through your bank statements and business financials is actually mortifying. Quick tip: It doesn’t matter if you can afford the bond or even twice the bond amount. It’s just not enough. So with no credit, no payslip and no joint income I set out on The Worlds Most Impossible Quest. And we won. Eventually.

The plan is to live in this sweet little house for a year or two and fix it up real nice. Then rent it out, and pay it off by the time the boys finish school. If you’ve looked at projected figures for university fees in 2027 then you should understand why I’m trying to cover as many bases as I can right now. Maybe I’ll live there as an old lady with many cats one day – who knows? But at least there’s something extra nestled somewhere.

I’m doing tiny baby little renovations right now, which pains me. I am not a DIY type of person. Even the thought of shopping for tiles bores me to actual death, but I’m trying to get in to it. My mom’s partner is a most excellent builder, so I’m kind of winning there. I’m so grateful to him, really. So here are some ideas and plans and things that I found on Pinterest. The first steps to making the place feel a little bit like home.

Screen Shot 2016-04-12 at 10.28.51 AM Screen Shot 2016-04-12 at 10.26.34 AM

3
0

Dairy is f*cking scary.

I’ve spoken about my very slow transition away from meat over the past year. Although many of my friends and family members have been vegan or vegetarian for years, I was pretty stubborn about it. Noah was a vegetarian for three years before I was. As I became exposed to more conversations about this lifestyle, my defiance started to break down a bit. I didn’t grow up on a farm and I had misconstrued views on how animals live and are raised in meat factories. Wholesome pictures of farmers and free range, happy chickens appear on most packaging in the grocery aisles. Jamie Oliver’s clips on meat manufacturing went viral, showing that ingredients found in household cleaning products and bleaches go in to beloved processed chicken patties and viennas. They say that everyone has their own moment of realisation. You can watch all the documentaries you like, but if something doesn’t resonate with you personally then you won’t be likely to make any switches. I mean why would you? You grew up on meat, eggs, milk and ice cream like every other kid did, and you’re totally fine. I get it.

I’m not a salesman. I’m not going to try bend or force your views and to be honest, I pretty much don’t care what you eat. I don’t know everything or even enough to educate you on anything vegetarian related. I can only really share what it’s been like for me, and how it’s changed the way that I live and feel. I’ve eaten the odd burger or lamb chop over the past year. I ate a slither of meat last weekend. Right now, I’m eager to eliminate dairy from my diet but I wouldn’t push the kids to do the same. I’m sure I’ll still eat the odd food item that contains milk, but I’m going to try.

I’ve become quite interested – no, passionate about nutrition lately. It’s always interested me and I’d really like to take some kind of course on food education. I want to know what (exactly) a carrot does to my body. Which organs does it feed? What happens if you eat strawberries and is orange juice really too acidic for us? I want to know why people are lactose intolerant, or what gluten does to some. Why do some people become addicted to sugar? What does it do to your brain, exactly? I want to know everything there is to know about food – it interests me like nothing else does.

Since cutting out, let’s say 99% of meat from my diet – I’ve definitely felt a switch. Cutting meat was mostly a health decision for me, but the ethical side obviously plays a role. The digestive system is something that really interests me, to be honest. I started reading books on it from varsity. My late brother had celiac disease as a young boy, so his digestive system completely shut down and he briefly malnourished until they figured it out. A boyfriend of mine had the same thing. We all have friends and family who have been affected by diet-specific illnesses such as heart disease or some cancers. We’re all suffering in one way or another under the greed of the food industry. Things do need to change, and we need to take care of and protect ourselves from corporations who don’t have our best interests at the forefront.

For me, the most frustrating reality is that so many (even highly educated) people believe that humans need to eat meat and other animal parts to survive, live and even to thrive. To succeed. Another misconception is that being a vegetarian or vegan is expensive. If you do tell people that actual science has proved over and over again that we do not need to eat animal products, then people get defensive. Mostly, they get defensive because you have just told them that they are eating flesh, harming animals, supporting conglomerates, and potentially jeopardising their own health for well, no reason at all. That they’ve been doing this voluntarily. That’s a hard piece of information to erm, chew on.

Now stop. I don’t think that eating the odd animal product is wrong. While I might eventually chat to the boys about dairy farms, I won’t (ever) ban them from cheese or yoghurt. I won’t deny them birthday cake at a kids party or the odd milkshake because this is a lifestyle that they can commit to personally, if they so choose. You need to give your child the opportunity to learn and discover things on their own count, I think. I still offer Noah meat all the time. I still believe that meat has a place in this world, but I feel it needs to be ethically sourced and enjoyed as a now-and-then and not a daily staple. While we don’t technically need to eat meat, we most definitely do not need to eat it every single day or at every meal. There’s also a sense of gratitude that needs to be incorporated. In some cultures, meat is prayed upon. The animal’s life is celebrated and considered. We’ve become so desensitised in our consumption rate that a cow is now just a whacky wednesday or something to mindlessly throw on a sandwich.

More than this, an animal has not given or sacrificed his life to you. It has been taken by force after it has lived (in most cases) a really awful life. These farmed animals are submissive and afraid. Might is not right. Just because you are able to overpower and kill an animal, does not mean that you have the right to do so. I support dozens of local butcheries and suppliers who go to great lengths to supply ethically sourced meat and seafood. Meat and meat eaters do not repulse or upset me. I’m learning about new things and I really enjoy sharing my feelings about all of this.

And it’s not just meat you guys. It’s GMO foods, pesticides and chemicals used in fresh produce too. I’m looking at the entire food system right now and trying to figure out what the fuck is going on.

I’ll probably always still eat the odd meat item every few months. Maybe I’ll make it a once-a-year tradition, I don’t know. I could never call myself a vegetarian or a vegan or even 100% a pescetarian. I don’t want to ‘disappoint’ myself or make myself vulnerable to being criticised. Most of us are so hard on ourselves every day, and I don’t think I could ever handle the pressure of a label.

What I am going to do, is be open minded. Learn. Educate myself on the food industry. I want to learn from others and keep this an open conversation. I went to the aquarium the other day and for the first time in my life, opened my mind to information about red and green lists on seafood. I’ve let people lecture and inform me without feeling defensive or raising any walls. It’s humbling. I’m inherently stubborn and I’m enjoying this more relaxed, or even mature acceptance of the information that’s so readily available to me.

I’d previously dismissed all documentaries or even communication about the dairy industry. My love for yoghurt, cheese and milk knew no exceptions. It was all fine, and as long as I ignored it; it would not affect me. Then this tiny video clip started playing automatically in my feed last week and goddammit it’s changed me. I made myself watch it again and again. I’ve always avoided the “Cowspiracy” documentary and hell I may as well watch it now.

I think that people feel that vegans are smug. Or mean. Forceful. Crazy, even. Remember that vegan and vegetarian people were exactly like you probably even months ago. Burger-loving, ice-cream eating regular consumers just exactly like you are. There’s a feeling of empowerment that comes with being educated about these things, like you know something that nobody else does. You know what’s really going on. It makes you feel aware. Enlightened. Worldly, even. And like any other good or powerful experience, you want to share that with others. They want you to experience what they are, and people share information in different ways.

I (well obviously) don’t like seeing clips of animals being slaughtered in my timeline. It ruins my entire day. Last week there was this video about a rabbit screaming while his fur was being plucked and I can still hear that godawful sound. I don’t need (or even deserve, if I may) to see that, you know. So I won’t do that to you. Sometimes I see something particularly interesting or articulated in a way that I’m not able to express and I might share that. This (really short and punchy) video clip I saw about the dairy industry is pretty safe, and tame. You should know where your food or milk comes from, and this is it. It’s a summary and narrated by a girl so cool that I went and watched all her other clips too. Here it is: Dairy is Fucking Scary

10
1

Do you remember

We all used to cuddle in to mommy’s bed and watch Friends and Now and Then? Noah, it’s your favourite movie right now. You love the Wormers and the mystery of Little Johnny.

Screen Shot 2016-01-15 at 12.43.08 PM

Watering the vegetable garden and watching your mielies grow? Watching things that you planted grow from scratch. Your mielies are almost ready now, and I’m so proud of how attentive you’ve been.

Do you remember that every night Jack would lay at the edge of my bed and stare at himself in my dressing room mirror? Sometimes he barks at himself forever and sometimes he wakes us up at like 3am this way.

Noah do you remember telling me that chickens are your favourite animals, and then bunnies. And that dogs are “okay”

Ben do you remember sitting in the bunny cage with Pumpkin, Fasty and “the white one” whenever you felt a bit sad?

Do you guys remember me taking your playstation away and hiding it in the top cupboard? You guys got so mad at me that I thought you’d literally never love me again.

Remember how we play UNO for like hours and how Ben always wins? Sometimes you don’t like picking up 8 cards, so mommy shares the big pick-ups with you. You’re never a sore loser, but you always forget to say UNO. I love how proud you look when you win a game, like you’ve been validated by the universe.

Noah you’re such a sensible, organized, neat and level headed kinda guy. You need things to be right, and fair and explained. You like things to make sense. You got your new school shoes and uniform last weekend, and I watched you meticulously fold and place everything together exactly as it was packaged. You’ve had it all ready and organized… 3 days in advance. I love this about you. I love how much you care about everything.

Remember when I travel and I’d always bring this huge stash of NEW sweets and treats home for you? Remember how Ben likes jelly sweets and Noah likes chocolate ones. Remember that time you got grounded for 2 weeks because of something to do with these sweets.

Noah do you remember how you lost your second tooth? How we tied floss around your tooth and the other end to the kitchen cabinet? You were so brave, I NEVER thought you’d let us do it. I hope I’m there when you trick your kids in to it too.

Remember when Ben decided he needed to be super cool and wanted that crazy haircut? All shaved at the sides with an over comb? You got your rockstar haircut, but I drew the line at peroxiding your hair white. You’re only 5 my boy.

Remember how we spent this summer holiday at the pool and at swimming lessons and the beach? You practically lived in the water, and now you’re on your second set of sunburn. I’m so glad that I got to spend so much time with you!

2015-12-16 13.34.37

You’ve started big school, and I’m so proud of both of you. Proud of how well mannered, attentive, caring, sensitive, crazy, fun, sporty and adventurous you both are. I love watching your friendship grow. You’ve been such brave boys this holiday, and I can’t help but be proud and take a few pages out of your tiny little books. Whenever I worry that something’s going to knock you over or unsettle you, you ALWAYS prove me wrong and don’t let anything dampen your gorgeous little personalities. You’ve walked in to a brand new world at school, filled with new friends, lessons, experiences and knowledge. You walked in well rested and sun-kissed, with beamy smiles all over your faces.  I love you guys so much.

2
0

Let’s talk about fat, baby.

I haven’t written about my health efforts in a while, but my fitness instructor said something really cool and clever to me today, so I thought I’d share.

A little background: Two years ago I suddenly (there were a lot of carbs involved) gained a lot of weight… 10kg+ to be exact. Read that post here. It was a combination of stress, emotions, working from home and just being a lazy lady. I never did any kind of exercise and I ate what I wanted. I was always drawn to healthy food, and still am… but I went through a phase of having dinner, having a few drinks and then having another dinner (and a bowl of cereal and toast and…)

I signed up for a half marathon and saw my ass. Properly. I mean, I finished at a good pace, but the training was like an awakening forward slash budget horror movie. I got blisters, injuries, stress fractures, shin splints, cramps. My fatty mac and cheese body was like DEAR GOD WOMAN WHAT ARE YOU DOING?! And I very almost gave up at least three times. Man, I was such an unfit, gross mess. I didn’t even know.

I joined a gym and started taking these Shape classes which is like a group class led by an instructor – much like aerobics but with some weight training. After the first class, my NECK was even stiff from doing sit-ups. Everything hurt, and it felt awful. I couldn’t coordinate with the instructor or keep up with the moves and I felt so ungraceful. I hated seeing my reflection in the wall-to-wall mirrors and was so self conscious. I tried yoga but my wrists hurt. I tried Zumba but lolololol keeping up with those instructors is probably definitely impossible.

Then I slot in to a routine of Shape classes, treadmill and doing some light running with the dogs. I experimented with my diet. I tried cutting out carbs, then sugar and dairy too. I went Pescetarian (vegetarian who still eats odd seafood) about a year ago. I ‘relapsed’ a few times. Once I tried a piece of boerewors and I felt so nauseated, I drove to the garage late at night to buy something to get the taste out of my mouth. Ghost pops, I think it was. I tried juice diets, which do work beautifully. I tried banting for a week or two just to see what it was like.

Two years ago, I weighed 75kg. I’m 1.75m tall, so technically I was still within a healthy BMI. That’s what the internet told me. None of my clothes fit and I felt awful about myself. Right now, I’m 63kg (12kg down, BABY!) and I’m so close to my usual weight again. My mom said something interesting the other day. She feels that we all have an ideal personal weight that our bodies are comfortable with. I used to weigh about 58kg throughout high school and 52kg in varsity. I was painfully thin, although not on purpose. I had two waitressing jobs and classes so I wasn’t at Res for a lot for meals. Any money I made went toward living expenses and booze (hello student life) My dad used to sneak muesli, nuts and fruit dainties in to my bag. I got so thin that I stopped getting my period, which I later learned was super dangerous. Girls aren’t supposed to talk about their weight, are they? Or periods. Whoops.

With the boys, I gained 17 – 20kg each pregnancy. Fine, like 11kg of that was the baby, amniotic fluid & placenta (yum) but I got happy and fat, and I loved it. I dropped the weight in a flash and never struggled until I neared my 30s. It just never stops, does it? I had like 4 wardrobes to cope with my shifting, adapting body.

Well, now the baby factory is officially closed. I learned that I can’t get away with eating 2 dinners and buckets of pasta anymore. I learned that my body DOES NOT like sugar or refined carbs – at all. I don’t eat take aways, I drink a lot of water and I don’t eat meat. If I do eat something unhealthy, then it’s mostly a tiny little baby portion. The thing is, you don’t know any of this stuff unless you experiment with your diet. If you’re gaining weight or feeling gross it’s because something is wrong with the mechanics and your body is not comfortable.

I learned that nourishment is absolutely everything. Empty and processed foods are the worst thing you can do to yourself. If your body does not recognize an ingredient, it freaks out and just stores it as fat. Imagine this big conveyer belt of ingredients entering your body, and someone sitting there sorting it to different routes. “Protein! Send to muscles. Vitamins! Send to organs. Grains! Send to energy. Preservatives? Wtf I don’t know. What is this? Send to fat I don’t know, I’m new.”

My biggest switch has been moving to unprocessed and natural foods. Things that grow on trees or come directly from soil. Nuts, seeds, grains, fruits, vegetables, fish, eggs in their natural and true form. I’m drinking so much water. I’m doing little fasts where I’ll skip dinner and only eat at midday the next day. I try eat foods that are easy to process like smoothies and juices.

Don’t get me wrong, I can polish a bag of Quality Streets quicker than a mouse to cheese. Sorry if I sound like some sort of condescending fitness freak b*tch. I am FAR from that. I have such a long, ‘forever’ road ahead of me in terms of toning and fitness. My goal weight is 58kg. If I can hover between 58 and 60 for the rest of my days, then I’ll be well impressed. My body KNOWS that I’m not supposed to be at my current weight. I always had a more slender, athletic frame. My family never ate out and my mom cooked us healthy dinners from scratch every night.

I want to feel comfortable. I want to look in the mirror and think “damn girl” instead of “something’s not right, girl”

Oh, so this thing my instructor said to me at gym today: I’ve reached some kind of plateau in my training. I’m in a routine, and my weight and toning efforts aren’t really shifting. I asked if I should be doing more shape classes, or more cardio or maybe try pilates again and she gave me such good advice. I’m supposed to do all of it. All of us. You’re supposed to do like 2 aerobics / weight training / shape classes or sessions a week. Then you need to mix it up and add some running or swimming here and there. Do like 2 yoga or pilates sessions a week. Go for a brisk walk. A hike. Mix it up and don’t do the same thing every single day. Once your body adapts to your routine, it will likely settle.

So from 2016 I’m going to start playing around. Adding weird and cool classes like belly dancing and do some laps in the pool. Try spinning again (must remember to get knickers of steel) and get a skip rope. I seriously love pilates, so I want to do more than that. I don’t really have a deadline on these last 5 kgs, but my body and I want them to go.

The thing is: I do so many unhealthy things. From contraceptives to antibiotics and my (sugar free) red bull addiction. I drink pretty often. I can’t add being overweight or unfit to this pot, otherwise I know my body will take strain and probably won’t last very long. We all have a shelf life.

For me, not eating meat was at least 85% a health decision and 15% an ethical one. I don’t think that we’re supposed to eat meat the way that it’s being ‘manufactured’ in most places right now, and I don’t think it’s good for us. I DO think it’s okay to have the odd meat item, but scaled down to at least 10% of the current production rate. Neither our planet or our bodies can sustain our greed for animal flesh at the current consumption rate, but you know this.

I saw an article today about people yawning over all the “weight loss new year’s resolutions” that are coming our way. I say: Don’t get your body to the point where it causes damage. Whether that be too thin, or too fat. Putting pressure on your heart is fucking dangerous, as is not nourishing your organs. We all NEED to exercise. Go for walks, buy a bicycle or go swim at a public pool, but regular aerobic movement wards off ageing, cancer, heart disease and a shitload of other things. We know this. Weight training will save you from a hip replacement in your 50s, as women (especially mothers) are highly prone to developing osteoporosis.

I am not saying that you should go on a diet or join a gym as your 2016 resolution.

I am saying that you should think about everything you put in your body. Will it nourish you? Does it contain fresh ingredients? Will it feed your organs and skin cells and make your body feel good? Will it ward off diseases? Will it make you look good? Does it promote mental health? Do you need this? Or even: Do I need this much of this? Try cutting all your food portions in half for a week. If you usually have 2 slices of toast for breakfast, rather have one. Dish up half the amount you usually would at dinner. You’ll soon realize just how little our bodies really need.

If you’re the other way around and never find time to eat, then get organized. Cook in bulk and freeze. Shop online. Sign up with a delivery place in your area to send a salad to your office every day. Make or buy cold pressed juices in bulk and freeze them. Pop one in your handbag every morning.

If you’re making a health resolution for 2016, then make it to be comfortable. Say: “In 2016 I want to be comfortable.” Whether that means losing your muffin top or being able to wear shorts or firming your arm jiggle, then do it. Get that “damn girl” feeling when you look in the mirror – whether you’re a size 8 or a size 16, but just get there.

Right now, I’m super focused on my health. I take the boys to my gym and they do activities for 2 hours. We buy wraps and smoothies at the gym cafe, and we take the dogs for walks in the park. Ride bikes. Swim at Newlands Pool. It’s so important that the boys see ME living a healthy life so that they can get in to this routine. Benjamin never wanted to drink water, he would only drink juice. I realized this was because I never drank water. I started doing it, drinking tons of water every day (making sure he sees me) and now, that boy hasn’t asked for juice in weeks.

Your kids WILL mirror you. Every time I walk in to gym, I remember watching my mom on her fitness bike, watching soapies in the evenings. I remember her pink exersize mat and doing Cindy Crawford and Jane Fonda aerobics with her. I remember her going to weigh less and eating provitas and reading books on nutrition. Never remember seeing her run though, ma? haha.

Anyway. Wow. Sorry for lambasting you on HEALTH!!! and FITNESS!!! and DEAD ANIMALS!!! for like an hour, but I hope that something resonated with you. Saying all of this ‘out loud’ definitely helped me centre my current efforts.

Okay bye. Happy New year x

20
0

2015.

Every year I look back on what I achieved, which poles I missed and where I can improve on for the next year. We’re all doing that right now, aren’t we? Setting up trees, wrapping presents, drowning in delicious wine and silently reflecting on our lives. Our future. Our families. This was my year of bravery. I got a new car, I pierced my ears (I was so scared), I went to Paris to see some art, and Noah started the ‘dream’ school. My business grew and with it, my passion for the digital world. I’m taking on a business partner next year and growing a few divisions, which will be my core focus for 2016.

The boys had a big year because they’d always been in the same school and sometimes in the same class. This year they struggled with being separated, but they also developed a bit of independence. Benjamin is more of an introvert, so I think he sometimes relied on Noah for companionship when he didn’t want to reach out to other children. I guess it was the same for Noah too, especially in the beginning. I’m so glad that they’ll be together again next year and can share all those same-school stories about the library or tuck shop lady, assembly and playground things. It’s going to be so good for them!

These past few months… I’ve lost a lot of time. You know when you’re reading a book but your mind wanders and you realise you haven’t absorbed the last six pages you’ve read? I felt kind of like that, but about everything. This year was the one that schooled me. Maybe you’ve had a year like this. When you decided to do everything that you’ve ever been afraid of. Being alone in a foreign city with a language barrier and no sense of direction was beyond overwhelming. I feel a hundred years older, but in a good way.

This was also the year that we legally dissolved our marriage. Our decision was based on a mutual benefit and handled with love and in friendship. A new story has begun, and I know that it’s going to be a sweet one, for all of us. We’re both excited about next year, our new projects and adventures.

I’m finishing up some work and wrapping the last presents, then I’m off to Sydney in the first week of January for business and to see some friends. I hope that you’re all finishing up too, and settling in to the holidays with your families. We’ve been writing and re-writing letters for Father Christmas for weeks, and now I’m off to the shops to buy some cookies to leave at the fireplace “in case he comes early mommy!” It really is the most wonderful time of the year x

0
66

A day at the beach & a super easy giveaway

On Wednesday we spent the day at my new favourite beach. It’s close to Table Bay and I have no idea what it’s called, but the water is SO WARM. You can spend all day swimming like you’re in Durban or something. There are rock pools with loads of fish and crabs and other little sea creatures. I know this because every ten minutes the boys threw a newly found giant dead crab in my direction. Apparently that one never gets old. We got a new cool floaty toy from Superbalist a while back. A lot of you asked, so I wanted to let you know that you can still find it online here. PS invest in a hand pump or something. Seriously.

Screen Shot 2015-12-18 at 6.53.04 AMScreen Shot 2015-12-18 at 5.55.08 AMThe boys had such a fun time. I packed loads of sandwiches, homemade burgers and snacks the night before, so we got to the beach nice and early. I have to find out the name of this place, because the water is so shallow, so the kids can swim all day and you don’t have to worry about their safety one little bit. The dogs went nuts and were chasing the fish for hours. With everyone fully entertained, I got a nice tan and some serious downtime. I am obsessed with the beach, it is my favourite place to be (this post was not sponsored by the ocean)

Screen Shot 2015-12-18 at 6.13.32 AMScreen Shot 2015-12-18 at 5.56.35 AM

Screen Shot 2015-12-18 at 6.10.07 AM

After months of hunting, I finally got a new bikini! It’s also from Superbalist (they currently own all my money) and I’m so happy with it. It’s really hard for me to find a bikini top that fits properly, and this halter neck fit is so flattering and supportive. You can find it in their swimwear section.

Screen Shot 2015-12-18 at 6.04.07 AMScreen Shot 2015-12-18 at 6.39.35 AMI also wanted to remind you guys that the #VenusOnTheGo, Venus Snap competition is still happening! They’re giving away a shopping spree prize worth R20,000 at Topshop to a very lucky girl! Enter like this:

  • Buy one of their Venus Snap razors
  • Snap a flat lay image including your Venus Snap
  • Upload it to Instagram using #VenusOnTheGo.

The winner will be announced in January so you still have loads of time to enter. I love the little pocket size razor. It’s so tiny and comes with a nifty little travel case too. Here’s an example of how to style your razor to enter the competition! I used some of my favourite beach things, but you can do a beauty, handbag or even a gym bag post too. There can only be one winner girls! Get those entries in x

IMG_7383

 

 

 

2
1

There’s a lot going on.

I hate to say that I’m busy, because really – everyone is busy. Being super busy is awful. Can we stop the glorification of busy? What I wouldn’t give to pack it all in and spend my days at the beach or in a pool instead. There is a lot going on now and every year I forget just how frantic this time of year is. Not just with work, but with the boys and their school activities. Noah enters grade ONE next year and his school is so fantastic. We’ve had orientations, class lists and school concerts. He’s had outings and prize givings and cake sales and play dates. There’s so much still to do over the next few weeks, but I love it. I love being a mom and getting everything ready for this HUGE milestone in his life. I am going to cry my mommy heart out when I see him in his first school uniform because I know just how proud and grown up he’s going to look.

Ben’s school nativity play was last night and today is HIS grade R orientation. Next year they’ll be in the same school again, which I’m ecstatic about. It was pretty hard on them to be separated this year.  It was his birthday party last week and he’s changed so much. He’s growing up too fast now and becoming a proper little awkward boy. It’s the BEST. Noah has exceeded all our expectations this year and I’m so flippen proud of both of them. I’m trying not to share too much of the boys’ lives online as they’re getting to that age where they want a bit more privacy and consideration, you know? I mean they’re in BIG school now, “mom.”

I’m dealing with a lot of business and bookkeeping admin right now which I have very little patience for. There’s two weeks of admin, work and planning to get through. I love this time of year and I’m so excited to put the tree up and start the Christmas shopping and meal planning. It really is the most wonderful time of the year. I have this huge mental list of things to be grateful for, and I’m going to make a point of writing them all down next week. This is an awful season for families who might be under financial strain or have lost loved ones this year, so count your blessings every single day – no matter how tired we all are, or how tough things may seem right now. Just a little bit longer!

1
0

Anniversary chickens and our little family farm.

Last weekend was Graeme and I’s 6 year wedding anniversary. We weren’t really going to celebrate because we have a lot going on work and home wise at the moment. On the morning, he surprised me with a pretty necklace and we decided to take a drive out to the winelands. My mom watched the boys and G and I just took to the road with no plans which was pretty nice. We stopped at Warwick, Lanzerac (I think?) and Maison for wine and tapas with lots of giggles in between. We bought a few bottles of wine at each vineyard to start our own little collection at home. Graeme works with some of the people at Maison, and they gifted us a fancy bottle of MCC which I’ve hidden at the very top of the pantry. I still have some wine from Paris, so we’ve got a pretty fancy collection going at the moment. So fancy, that we’ll probably never drink any of it. That’s the point, right?

20151031_114808IMG-20151031-WA000420151031_145431IMG-20151103-WA0018IMG-20151103-WA0016IMG-20151103-WA0012

I have been nagging Graeme for chickens for MONTHS. I’ve phoned around, trawled the classifieds and asked so many people where I can get a few hens. Eventually we saw some along the trip and I can’t really disclose how or where we got these chickens for YOUR OWN PROTECTION, but we left the winelands with these adorable little chicks that we’ve named “Itchy and Scratchy”

20151101_102114

They are the sweetest, tiniest little creatures. They make the cutest chirping noises and fall asleep on you every chance they get. Graeme has started building a nice big coop and enclosure for them, but right now they’re in the big bunny hutch with Buttons the bunny. They’ve got their own little box in there and Buttons is quite chuffed to have some friends. I’ve separated him from Pumpkin and the babies ’til they’re strong enough to all be together again. We’re also giving Buttons the snip, so him and Pumpkin need some time apart for a bit. The boys are loving the chicks! The big hutch / coop will give all the little animals some access to grass and the garden with a nice big door so the kids can climb in and out to hang out with their pets. Our vegetable garden is coming along so nicely, and one day we’ll get some eggs from these chickens too. Just building a farm here people because food is expensive!

20151101_101845

Noah has been put in charge of watering the veggie garden and right now we’re growing beetroot, sweet potato, cucumber, mieles, tomatoes, chillies, pumpkins, butternut, watermelon, sweet melon, patty pans, lettuce, mint, celery, sage, origanum, coriander and parsley. I have to keep planting as we go so that we have a continuous harvest once it all comes to life. It’s so important for the boys to be in touch with animals, growing food and being close to the earth like this. I can’t wait to watch these chickens grow. They’re so tame and sweet and naughty! The dogs are so confused about all of this, and Jack spends his days guarding and staring at the chicks while Daisy tries really hard to eat them every chance she gets. The garden is looking so nice at home because all the butterflies are out and there are so many trees and nests at the back. The starlings, pigeons and these tiny little green birds bath in the fish pond every afternoon. Our house must be some kind of depot for all the birds in the area because there are really just so many.

The animals and garden has added quite a bit of work for me, because I spend every afternoon watering, fussing, planting and fertilising all of it. I’m helping Pumpkin with the babies and trying to keep her cage as clean as possible while making sure that the chicks are warm and that rodents in the area don’t try get to them. It’s really nice though because I spend more time outside with the kids and less time with screens.

PS Does anyone know if you’re allowed to keep geese in the suburbs? And also chickens.

5
0