Tag Archive | my favourite things

I got an email from Jill Savage from Hearts at Home, that I will include at the bottom. And I wanted to confirm and share what she says. When was the last time you celebrated your small victories at a mom or as a family?

My husband recently started his own company. He works at a contract and says all the things we will do if he gets it. Then he does,… and life just goes on. We are afraid something might still go wrong, so we feel foolish to celebrate.

I can relate in my world. The baby sleeps through the night. Do we celebrate? No. Too afraid that tonight will be different. I had time to wash 2 loads of washing today. Do we celebrate? No. Too busy and too tired. I did not yell at the kids once today. Do I celebrate? No. What if the burden of the expectation never to do it again becomes too heavy. Etc.

But what if we did celebrate every contract. Bottle of bubbly just for the 2 of us tonight, an ice cream for the whole family, something small something big. It is not really important how. What matters is that we stop to look back and experience the thankfulness of the moment. Stop to enjoy. Because tomorrow might be hard. Something might go wrong. But today was good. This moment is good. And no one knows as well as I do how great every success is for me.

Be blessed today. Helena xxx



JillShe finally did it.  She stayed dry all night!  Even though it happened over 26 years ago, I remember it like it was yesterday!  It was a triumph worth celebrating!


Motherhood is hard. It’s filled with all kinds of goals that we work towards with our kids like weaning from the breast or the bottle, potty-training, learning their letters, writing their name, or tying their shoes. As they get older we work toward them completing their homework without help, or writing their first paragraph.  As they move into the teen years, they get their learner’s permit and eventually acquire their license. They learn to do laundry or write their first research paper. 


Some of these triumphs are our kids’ accomplishments and some are a blended accomplishment of parent and child.  Many times the accomplishment is under-celebrated, particularly when it comes to acknowledging the effort the parent has contributed. 


When we work hard toward a goal and the goal is achieved, it deserves a celebration! 

As moms, we’re pretty 

good at celebrating our kids’ accomplishments, but not always so good at celebrating our own.  Sometimes we let one challenging season just blend into the next challenging season without stopping to celebrate the progress made.


When we love and celebrate our triumphs, we give ourselves a much needed reward or pat on the back for a job well done. It’s unlikely that your three year old will say “Gee mom, great job potty-training me!” so you and I have to find ways to mark those moments with a celebration of some sort. You might ask a friend to meet you for coffee, suggest your hubby bring home carry-out for dinner, take a candlelight bath, or go treat yourself to a pedicure.  If it’s something you and your spouse have trudged through together, then a celebration date or dinner out just might be in order.


In some way, pause and take notice of your accomplishment. It’s a love-your-life self-care strategy that will keep you plugging along the parenting journey for the long haul! 


Joining you in the journey,



Jill Savage

Wife to Mark

Mom of Anne, Evan, Erica, Kolya, and Austin

Nana to Rilyn, Landon, and Marie


Ragdolls for sale!

When my friend Renate asked me to help, I was blown away by the response I got when I recently asked about ragdolls. Did you know so many people made ragdolls? Let me share some of my Favourites:

Johanna Makes Liefiepop Lappoppe. Just like the traditional ones we always knew. Beautiful:


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Heather from My Apple Rose www.myapplerose.com makes ragdolls, each complete with their own name and story. The fairy doll on the left and Carly Cupcake on the right, who “loves to bake cupcakes and especially likes pink icing. She can’t wait to make some cupcakes with you!” These dolls are as cheap as R100 each! :


Look at these beauties by mooigetooi1@gmail.com also for only R100 each!


Badisa Trio has a Poppie Project. By purchasing their dolls, or matching wrapping paper, keyrings or fridge magnets, you contribute to provide social services to a specific child and also create social awareness. http://www.badisatrio.co.za/poppie-projek

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Off the Board makes a wide variety of dolls, including animals. They have been featured in many magazines. You can find them
www.offtheboard.withtank.com and http://www.facebook.com/pages/Off-the-Board-Design/195543537124713

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I like the Cocoa Cherry dolls. Are they not too precious? http://www.cocoacherry.com http://www.facebook.com/CocoaCherry1

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This one stole my heart: Hobby Animals by Antoinette Nienaber: There is no picture of the ragdoll on her website but you can contact her directly. antoinette@hobbyanimals.co.za http://www.hobbyanimals.co.za/


Jana makes Moppies Ragdolls. Each doll is approximately 40cm tall and comes with clothes, felt animal and in a denim drawstring bag with a customised “story” about the doll and his/her furry friend. They currently sell at R250 per doll. http://moppies.wordpress.com

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If you buy a clothing item from Rag Clothing, you receive a matching item for your ragdoll. Which they also sell. http://www.ragclothing.co.za/


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Did you know so many people made ragdolls? And I am sure there are many more! These are just the ones I know about. Feel free to let me know if you find some great ones. Maybe we can have a “ragdoll theme” at one of the markets!

Review of Rietvlei Holiday Farm

Rietvlei Holiday Farm is just outside of Montagu. It is owned and run by friends of mine, a couple with 3 small children and lovely personalities! They regularly offer weekends there for prizes at my markets, so many of our visitors and exhibitors have been there.

I am very difficult when it comes to some place being child-friendly.( It is one of the reasons I started the Baby and Kiddies Markets and something I always keep on mind when planning one.) Child-friendly to me means that I do not have to entertain or watch my kids. I can also relax and enjoy the experiene without having to get up and swing or pay or run after someone.

Rietvlei offers many types of accommodation. The Swimming Pool Cottages are linked to each other and close to the main farm house and  therefore means ducks, geese, donkeys, sheep, goats, chickens, swimming pool, trampoline, grass, sandpit, swings and FRIENDS. While we were there, there were more than 10 kiddies playing all over. Even my 2year old would walk through the array of poultry to wherever the friends were and come back when she was ready.

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The other accommodation options on the farm give more privacy and is still a nice walking distance away from the farm house or just a quick drive. I wish now that I had taken more pictures of the beautiful cottages and insides. All I have to show is the indoor fire place, the outdoor braai, the welcome gift, and the foam clay and corn to feed the ducks and goats – both great kiddie activities.Rietvlei14 Rietvlei12 Rietvlei15 Rietvlei13

The kids went on tractor rides, and used it as a jungle gym afterwards!

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There is paint ball and you can take your bikes, take long walks and even bring your own quad bikes or motorcycles.


They have baby bath seats, feeding chairs, camp cots, but a great extra that you can book is a Friday Night Meal on Arrival! What a great idea. Book a meal for the kids, pop them into bed and enjoy a leisurely braai with your mate! (best case scenario!) This and breaksfasts need to be booked in advance.

The fire wood is R15. There are also towels and bedding supplied in the rooms. Most of the cottages have a bath with the exception on 2, so make sure when you book, if this is a necessity for you.

Do yourself a favour: Book your stay at Rietvlei. Meet Koos and Adri and their kids. Watch how they do their impressive pepper farming. Relax. Make some tea, read a book, have a braai, because the kids will only be back when they get hungry or it gets dark! Enjoy! xxx



Table Mountain Cableway Kidz Season

Did you know that it is Kidz Season at the Table Mountain Cableway until 31 October? Special valid on weekends, public holidays and school holidays, i.e. NOW!! We took the kids one sunny day and the weather was so great we could wear T-shirts and shorts on top of the mountain. 2 Kids travel FREE with every 1 adult purchasing a two-way ticket. This includes special treats!


Even though it was a weekend and be-a-u-ti-ful!! weather, there was no line and we purchased the tickets and walked straight into the cable car. The kids enjoyed the journey up and down, after I was quite worried that they would scream to get out!

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We took many pictures and pointed out the landmarks.

On top of the mountain they each received a free lollypop and a HUGE dassie biscuit.

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They ran on all the pathways and climed the rocks, jumped the water puddles and got rid of all their energy! There are so many pathways to choose from and you can wonder as far as you want. We stuck close enough to the cableway in case they suddenly all wanted t be carried at the same time!

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I packed a backpack and we had a picnic of naartjies, dry cereal and dried fruit. I just had to keep them away from the edges. A mother’s heart!

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We had so much fun, fresh air and lots of sibling bonding time and chance for us to talk while tagging slightly behind them.

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It is an expensive outing but better than paying full price for a family of 5. And also well worth the R205 per adult. This is a good opportunity to experience this amazing wonder of the world with your young family. Not pram friendly so take a carrier for your baby or child if needed.


Review of naturally beauty-full products


I like Kerry. Her husband says she talks too much too fast, but I like it – she has passion about what she does. From home schooling 3 kids to starting and producing the naturally beauty-full skin range. We also spoke passionately about adoption over the culture lines and that is always a special conversation for me. I met her with a car like mine – full of kids and a house full of things inside, just in case you need it… I have been hooked to the smell of her Body Whipped Cream ever since!

She blessed me with the whole range of their products and included samples in the Welcome packs of the recent My Favourite Things Baby and Kiddies Market for everyone to try.

Her products are all natural and she is generous with size and price is reasonable.

I tried the wonderful lip balm, but lost it to the kids somewhere between then and now! I enjoy daily treatments of the body butter on my hands and great for legs after shaving. I have bathed in the bath balls which left my skin feeling so soft. The foot soak smells of revitalizing mint and the body whipped cream has a smell that keeps me sniffing at my hands long after I’ve applied it! My friend who suffers from eczema says the body butter does not irritate her skin and that is rare. But Kerry also makes a Healing Balm that she is very proud of. It boasts to treat ailments from muscle pain to nasal congestion! A great thing to have in your medicine cabinet, or better even, your daily handbag with kids! The body and face scrubs include coffee, which I thought a strange ingredient, until I read all the benefits of coffee on her website. http://naturallybeautyfull.co.za/ingredients/

But then she also has products specifically for baby – baby body butter and bum butter. Great for those baby massages!

She has a beautiful website www.naturallybeautyfull.co.za where you can order her products which will then be sent to you. I am sure these products will be available in local shops pretty soon, but in the meantime you will be able to meet her and buy directly from her at the upcoming My Favourite Things Baby and Kiddies Market at Stellenbosch Square on 15 June between 9am-2pm. Or you can place your order in advance to make sure she has enough stock and just collect from her there! Enjoy all the smells!!!

Review Money Mo

I really like Shani from Miney Mo. I was so happy that she joined our last market at the end of 2012 with so much flair. She jumped at the chance to give my girls the opportunity to wear her rompers. The problem was that the moment I put them on, they could not stand still for one photo! Obviously so much fun and they feel great.

Shani, a mother of two, makes these proudly SA, “made with love”, clothing range. She makes dresses, rompers and headbands, and sells the Nanny Notebook,  http://www.thenannynotebook.com/ , also one of the most amazing products that I have discovered – for moms that need to leave new babies with a nanny.


Go take a look on http://www.mineymo.co.za/ and see the beautiful colours and fabric she uses.

Also on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/MineyMo

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Sibling friendships

I love to listen to the sound of my kids playing. I know I only hear them playing because I allow them to play. I do not try to entertain them all the time, organise endless playdates, add tv and ipads and all the rest. We have our fair share of all that, but I believe we must let our kids be bored. Let them get creative in imagining new games. Encourage them to play with each other – the older ones and yourger ones – all together. I believe its part of our roll as parents to teach them how to be friends. The only sad thing that sometimes gets me is that they will one day as adults be visiting each other and not always feel the need to include me!!!

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