Homecoming Celebration

This sweet story is about Matthew’s Homecoming Celebration. A very special celebration for us, as new parents, to the most precious little boy.

On January 7, our amazing friends, Rocky and Geoff threw Matthew a homecoming celebration. We had no idea this was happening and oh boy, were we surprised! When we arrived at Rocky and Geoff’s house, there were blue balloons and decorations everywhere. Very festive and fun. Vince and I thought we had forgotten someone’s birthday, it took us a while to catch on that the party was actually for us!

All our close friends were there and we were showered with gifts. We felt so special. Matthew was an angel of course. He loved helping us open his gifts and was all smiles. Its like he knew that everyone was there to celebrate him. The best part was that he got to meet ALL our special friends. We are so blessed.

Here are some photos taken by our talented photographer friend (you can view her work on her Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/HelennelPhotography/)

Friday Favourites

Yippee! It’s Friday. It’s been a hectically busy week so this makes my heart very happy. To celebrate this wonderful day, I’m sharing one of my favourite things. A small thing that makes a big difference.

Justine Tissue Oil. I have been suffering from incredibly dry skin and no amount of moisturiser seems to help. Since I’ve been using Justine Tissue Oil, my skin has improved drastically. I’m even using it on my face, yes, you heard me, oil on my face. But this is no ordinary oil, it soaks into your skin and leaves it feeling great.

I have also noticed a massive improvement in my complexion. The pigmentation on my forehead is fading and the general appearance of my skin is so much better. Yay! And the best part is, its really reasonably priced. Justine Tissue Oil is only available from a registered agent. Get googling if you want to find an agent near you 🙂

This is not a sponsored post. I just wanted to share my positive experience with a great product.

Guardians of Hope

18 July . Mandela Day. A day commemorating the lifetime of service Nelson Mandela gave to South Africa and the world. On this day, people are encouraged to donate 67 minutes of their time to help those in need. Why 67 minutes? One minute for every year of Mandela’s public service. Even the smallest gesture of kindness is a step towards a better South Africa. A South Africa that Nelson Mandela would be proud of, where his legacy can live on forever.

“We need to restore and reaffirm the dignity of the people of Africa and the developing world. We need to place the eradication of poverty at the top of world priorities. We need to know with a fresh conviction that we all share a common humanity and that our diversity in the world is the strength for our future together.”Nelson Mandela

On 18 July 2017, some of my work colleagues and I, visited Guardians of Hope Place of Safety for abandoned babies.

It was a phenomenal experience. I cried. Just soft tears rolling down my cheeks. It was so special to see my work friends with the babies, to see a softer side to them. The best part was, I got to hold a beautiful baby girl. So petite, with the cutest, craziest hair and soulful eyes. There’s nothing sweeter than holding a tiny baby close to you, the warmth is indescribable. All the small noises, the cuddles and the sweet smiles are enough to MAKE MY HEART MELT. This little miracle will have a beautiful life, all thanks to one incredible person, Elaine Brenkman.

Elaine runs Guardians of Hope. She is unbelievable! Her love and dedication is beyond amazing. It was truly inspirational meeting such an extraordinary person. She is soft, caring, kind, loving and remarkably strong. She is my inspiration. My motivation. Elaine makes the world a better place. She has adopted two boys and a girl, so we have something in common, AND we are now Facebook friends. Yay!

There are six babies at Guardians of Hope. Six beautiful babies being loved and cared for by Elaine and her dedicated staff. Guardians of Hope is not funded by government, they rely completely on private funding and donations. Elaine also encourages people to give their time, to visit the babies and give them much needed attention. Vince and I will be popping around there soon. Hoping to make a difference where we can.

Read more about Guardians of Hope here http://www.dispatchlive.co.za/news/2017/07/03/blanket-love-unwanted-babies-new-el-centre/

Read more about Elaine’s incredible story here http://www.dispatchlive.co.za/news/2017/07/21/being-the-complete-mom/


How Beautiful

So today, I’m going to brag a little.  My hubby is amazing! Vince has a true gift! His magic hands have created the most beautiful pieces of furniture. One-of-a-kind pieces for a select client base.

Here are some projects that he has completed over the past year. 

His next project is our kitchen reno. I’m so exited!!! I could just explode! Stay tuned for updates :).

Dream Kitchen

I have found my dream kitchen! I am totally in love. It’s warm and inviting and oh so pretty. I could totally see Vince cooking up a storm in there.

This kitchen is perfect and every detail would suit our lifestyle. Our home is open concept and we want to remove our ceilings to expose the wooden beams. Very much like the image above. This would transform our house completely. There are some things I would change. I have my heart set on a porcelain sink and white subway tiles, but I might change my mind after seeing how colour can add so much spark to a space.

I came across this dreamy kitchen on House of Turquoise (which I love). Not only do they feature this stunning kitchen, but the whole entire house! Here is the link to this spectacular home http://houseofturquoise.com/2017/06/butter-lutz-interiors.html


Living a balanced life

Becoming a parent is the most wonderful, amazing, beautiful thing in the world, but it has it’s challenges. Number one challenge = work/life balance. The struggle is real! Sometimes things feel tilted in the wrong direction, but we always manage to pull in the reigns. Vince and I both work toward creating a loving home with minimal work impact.

Weekdays are hectic for us and we barely touch sides. Luckily Vince and I have a good system in place. I take care of Matt and he does, basically EVERYTHING else. Yip, I hit the jackpot! He can cook AND clean. We find that sticking to a routine works amazingly well. It keeps our lives manageable and structured and I LOVE routine. Like completely obsessed. I thrive on routine. It makes me feel calm and in control. There are some days that are unavoidably chaotic, but thankfully, most days, we get it right.

Here are a few things that help us keep things on track:

  • We share household chores and responsibilities.
  • We clean up as we go and try not to let the house get too messy.
  • I cook Matthew’s dinner for the week on a Sunday and freeze it in containers, he eats as soon as we arrive home, the little man is ravenous by that time.
  • I do one load of washing a day to prevent a build up.
  • Multitasking is key! I often do a few things at once. For instance, when I make our morning tea, I prepare Matt’s breakfast, as well as food for our fur babies. I also feed Matt while I have my morning tea.
  • We leave for work at the same time, it helps when there are two of us locking up and loading cars.
  • Vince makes easy dinners, that are yummy and nutritious. He has mastered the art.
  • We do most of our shopping over weekends, so we only have to pop into the shop for milk and bread.
  • We allow Matt to watch one episode of Barney in the mornings, this gives us time to make lunches and get ourselves ready for the day.
  • I have started getting our outfits ready for work the night before, saving us time.

I’m sure there are ways to improve our schedule but all of the above seem to be working. Parenting is hard work but I am so proud that Vince and I are working so well and doing this 100% together.

And lastly, about our weekends, they are precious, we get to spend quality time with our boy. He loves one on one playtime, so we do that as much as possible. We also try to take him on a fun outing and stick to our routine as best as we can. Especially when it comes to meal times and nap times. Having a happy, healthy baby is priority number one!


Style Update

My closet is calling out for an update. This mamma has no style! Ok, so maybe I am exaggerating just a little bit. I have style, it just needs some attention. I always just throw on something comfy and it tends to be the same thing over and over again. I love relaxed, comfortable clothing that is practical. We’re always out and about, taking part in fun family activities, so for me, comfort is key. Shoes in particular. If my feet are happy, then I am happy. Flats only please :).

I’ve never really been into fashion and haven’t always had the greatest style. I really want to update my look with a NEW wardrobe. But that comes with a hefty price tag. So I have a game plan! I’m going to update my style by  purchasing key items that will work with my current wardrobe but also grow with my changing personal style.

I will start with a good base and build my closet up from there. Here are a few items that I need:

  1. Dark denim skinny jeans
  2. Black skinny jeans
  3. Basic grey long t-shirt
  4. Basic black long t-shirt
  5. Caterpillar boots
  6. Grey quilted parka
  7. Cropped denim jacket
  8. Leather sling bag

Hopefully I will get my style back on track soon! If I feel good about the way I look, I am so much more confident, so I’m trying to make good choices. I’m also starting to organise my closet into outfits, so that there is always something ready-to-go.

This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.

Inspiration on the web

As a designer, I spend a lot of time online and visit numerous websites, looking for inspiration, reading blogs, or just looking at stuff. Of all the websites I visit, I do have a favourite, and that is VISI. It is loaded with beautiful content! Interesting articles, amazing design, inspirational art and so much more!

Here are a few articles featured on their home page:They have such an interesting mix of features and the images! Simply stunning! I love the visual appeal, it speaks to the designer in me. And the structure, so spot on. Big visuals with minimum text that draws you in.

VISI is the website for South Africa’s most beautiful magazine:

If you are looking for a website with great content then VISI is for you. The website is fantastic but let me tell you, the magazine is just as brilliant. You can subscribe to the magazine via the website http://www.visi.co.za/subscribe/ or you can visit your local bookstore.

This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own. I wrote this post featuring what I love.

Kitchen Moodboard

We’ve been dreaming of a new kitchen for so long and we are FINALLY at the planning stage. Yippeeeeeee! A kitchen is a big investment so we want to be 100% sure of our choices. It has to be perfect. A warm, inviting and functional space. We have decided on a neutral base (white and natural wood), we will introduce colour with some vibrant accessories. At the moment I am totally obsessed with blue, all shades of blue.

So, this is where we are with our moodboard:

There are still loads of decisions that need to be made and so much more planning. The ceiling needs to be removed to expose the wooden beams, insulation and panelling needs to be installed AND we need to sand and paint etc. But before this mammoth task we need to demo, a complete demo. Everything out! There is nothing we want to keep. It’s a ton of work that we want to do ourselves. We are after a high-end look on a medium budget, so we will take on as much as we can. We would like new appliances, preferably all from the same brand but this depends on price and availability. Also, we need to decide on the cabinet style, we are leaning towards a cleaner look with simple lines.

All in all I am over the moon with the progress! It means that we are one step closer to a brand new kitchen. Whoop whoop!!!! Expect loads of updates!