Archive of ‘Lifestyle’ category

The Ramblings of a sad girl cliche

Remember when we were all like 2016 is the worst year ever and then 2017’s like “Hold my beer”

Retrenchment in February, a few hospital pit stops, a miscarriage after Easter weekend and then Thursday the 11th of May… Voldemort day.

I once read an article that said 1 in 4 pregnancies end in miscarriage. I think this is why I had such a hard time feeling sad. This happens to 1 in 4 pregnant women, I’m not special; I’m not even the worst case scenario. I was only 5 weeks pregnant. It barely counts as a pregnancy.  I don’t deserve to cry because there are women all over the world who had to deal with far worst.  But through reading and talking to friends I’ve come to realise that it doesn’t matter how far along you were, you don’t have to submit your tragedy to a panel who will judge if you qualify to feel sad, you can just be sad. It’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to.

I’ve since spent my fair share of time on the couch feeling sorry for myself. I’ve stuffed my face with comfort food, I’ve cried at diaper ads and I’ve watched way too much Keeping up with the Kardashians. I can actually feel my brain cells dying.  I’m the walking talking sad girl cliché.

Thing is when you are a mom you are only allowed to have a breakdown from 8 – till end of school day, and then you wipe the tears and get shit done.  I love my little boy so much and I know if it wasn’t for him I’d probably be having a gin with my morning coffee. He makes me so incredibly happy, except for the times when he cries for 30 minutes because I won’t give him a green fizzer, or when he has to take a bath, brush his teeth or go to bed…  But still I absolutely adore this age. His imagination, the way he experience things, the little hugs and I love you’s. He’s a proper little person.

Husband and I recently came to the realisation that we’ve been more roommate than partners the last year. Somewhere between a baby, new jobs, money worries and losing a baby we’ve forgotten the things that use to make us great together. Our biggest problem is communication. I tend to bottle up. I am your typical cowboys don’t cry. But husband is a don’t go to bed angry, let’s talk it out kinda person. See where things went wrong.  We recently went on a weekend away to the west coast just the two of us and it did us the world of good. It’s important to remember marriage is a team sport. You don’t have to suffer in silence when there’s someone right there eager to hand you a tissue.

It’s weird living life somewhere between anger, heartbreak and disbelieve. But I do think that we are heading towards the silver lining. They say bad things happen in three’s so I’m done. Right?

I found a quote the other day that said “Sometimes it takes and overwhelming breakdown to have an undeniable breakthrough” I use to roll my eyes at people who post quotes on Social Media. Now I pin quotes on Pinterest till midnight.  It’s actually quite therapeutic. I get why people do it. I currently find myself in the middle of  “The mind replays what the heart can’t delete” and “When life knocks you down stand the fuck up and say you hit like bitch”

Wear the damn bikini

I was an active kid at school and enjoyed a variety of sports, netball being my favourite. I was never thin but strong and athletic. I had a good bikini body. But I was also shy and self conscious.  I believed that my body wasn’t good enough for a swimsuit. I’d always hide behind a giant oversized T shirt. I’d drop my towel just before jumping into the pool and would reach for it before I’m out the water. I always said no to going down the Super tube even when I really wanted to join in the fun.

My mom always warned me that someday I’ll regret not walking around in my swimsuit when I had the chance.

And she was right.

I regret all the times I thought I couldn’t wear, eat or do something because I was too fat. Thinking I’ll wear, eat, do it next year when I’ve lost the weight and would look perfect. Thinking I had to put life on hold until I reached my goal weight.

I regret all the money I wasted on quick fixes and unhealthy diet pills because diet culture was so ingrained into my being that I believed every bit of nonsense they threw my way.  Using money on an expensive weight loss program when I actually wanted to use the money on something fun like zip lining or surfing lessons.

I am tired of always measuring my worth according to my weight. Oh she’s thinner than I am so she’s obviously cooler, smarter more successful. I should just sit here in the corner and keep quiet because no one wants the opinion of the fat girl

I am tired of listening to everyone talk about their diet. I’m tired of you thinking you have the right to tell me “Let’s lose 5kg’s”. Telling me how long I should run to work off the calories I just consumed.  Stop projecting your “oh she’d be so pretty if she just lost some weight” onto me.

I’m a mom now. I have a little boy who thinks the world of me, who loves me just the way I am. Who wants me to splash in the waves with him, who wants me to jump on the trampoline with him, but I don’t.  I ask someone else to do it, because I’m too fat to splash in the waves in a swimsuit. But I’m tired of regret and tired of missing out.

When I first saw this photograph I hated it because all I saw was my porky upper arm. Now its one of my favourites.

My mantra for the new year:

You don’t have to be thin to be worthy of happiness.

You don’t have to be thin to be worthy of respect.

You don’t have to be thin to be worthy of love.

YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE THIN TO BE worthy.

(via @bodyposipanda)

30 Something

So today, 21 September 2016 I celebrate my 34th Birthday. Now if you follow me on Twitter you’ll know I’ve been moaning about this birthday for a while now. I’ve also been asking every beauty bloggers advice on wrinkle cream, eye cream and the best foundation that won’t just go sit in all your ‘fine’ lines making sad little foundation caterpillars. Because 34 is a bit of a scary wake-up call from those naïve ‘but I’ve got great skin I don’t need eye cream’ days.

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My problem isn’t so much with turning 34, it’s more with what comes next. You see 34 is the last year of being in you early 30’s. Next year it’s 35 and that’s the turning point. From there on it’s just a hop, skip and a jump to 40. And 40. Well 40 is basically being Betty White.

I just cannot believe I am so far down my life timeline already.

And yes I know getting old and celebrating yet another birthday is a privilege. Something a lot of people don’t get to have. I have spent 34 good, healthy and major life changing accident free years on this earth. And I am so very thankful for this. I have an amazing family who are all alive and well. I have an incredible little boy who is my sun and moon. My best friends have been doing life with me since the age of 5 and is always just a phone call away. I am truly blessed. And not #blessed as in roll your eyes ironic blessed. But really truly blessed.

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But I just can’t help but think back to that naïve high school girl who thought she would someday drive a black Porsche like Will Smith did in Bad Boys. Who wanted to have all her kids by 29, and thought people in their 30’s were grown-ups. She’d probably be a little disappointed. But then again who really cares about what she thinks.

Cake time!!

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Cruelty free beauty on a budget

I started 2016 with three New Years Resolutions; stress less about money (like that’s ever going to happen) eat less meat (I had bacon yesterday and chicken today so not going well) and thirdly switch to cruelty free beauty products. The last one I’m actually doing pretty well at.

My switch to cruelty free has not been as easy as I thought it would. Although I’ve never had bad skin I’ve had eczema since birth. As a kid I couldn’t use the Barbie or My Little Pony bubble bath I got for my birthday and I often scratched myself in my sleep till my skin was red open wounds. I was on some kind of cortisone cream for most of my childhood. Dermatologist kept telling my parents it will get better (even disappear) around 16. It took a bit longer than that but eventually it did get better. My skin is however very sensitive to change of season, stress and perfumed skin creams.

For the last couple of years I’ve been using Bioderma and loved it. It’s affordable and worked well with my skin type. But of course Bioderma is not Cruelty free.

The first 2 cruelty free organic skin creams I tried did not suit my skin at all. I didn’t like the smell and texture. It felt like it disappeared as soon as I applied it.  It was impossible to get a smooth finish with foundation and halfway through the day it felt like my face would crack if I smiled. I was told to give it more time as your skin will take a while to adapt to organic products. So I did but for the first time in ages my skin was giving me major issues and I hated it.

Then I tried Skin Creamery’s Everyday cream and I instantly fell in love. It’s organic, the packaging is great, it smells heavenly and my skin feels moisturised all day long. I’m also very keen to try their Facial Cleansing Powder.

So a quick round up of my new favourite budget friendly cruelty free products:

Then: Bioderma PO zinc – Now: The Skin Creamery Everyday cream

Then:  Bioderma Facewash – Now: Naturals Beauty Milk Cleanser. Their Hydrating Mask is pretty fantastic too.

Then: Nivea Body Lotion – Now:  Oh So Heavenly Extended Moisture (Clicks) (Body Shop body butter is my first choice here but not budget friendly. This Oh So Heavenly is R23 and a so great)

Rain Organic Coconut Oil

Rain Body polish

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Cruelty free make up on a budget

Then:  Mac Powder – Now: Catrice All Matt Plus (Dischem)

New purchase: Catrice Eye highlighter (game changer)

Then: Mac & Rimmel lipstick – Now:  Essence and Wet n Wild (Clicks)

My current favourite Wet n Wild colours are Stoplight Red, Mauve Outta Here and Smokin Hot Pink

I’m still on the hunt for a nightcream and a Foundation to replace my Mac Studio Sculpt with so if you know of a good alternative let me know.

Just a side note to remember when going cruelty free.  Chinese law requires mandatory animal testing on all cosmetic products that are manufactured outside of China. So if a company doesn’t conduct animal testing themselves but sell to China they are basically not cruelty free. A good example of this is Revlon.

That one time Crossfit nearly killed me.

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I use to be a really active kid and teenager. I did athletics, gymnastics, tumbling, played hockey for a bit, and LOVED Netball. At one stage I even did rock climbing as a sport. After school I was really into cycling, but then when I started with the normal 8 – 5 work day things slowed down. After a few years of sloth like living I got asked to play for a local action Netball team. I totally loved it, until the night I hurt my knee, followed by surgery, followed by 6 weeks of physiotherapy with a trainer that made me beg for mercy.

Then I got married, lived the good life, got pregnant, had a baby, did the always exhausted new mom thing, ate a lot of Kit Kats, exercised very little and BOOM! There I was in Fatsville, corner of None of my clothes fit. It was when my beloved engagement ring became so tight that I couldn’t wear it anymore that I knew something had to be done.

The word CrossFit kept popping up, and even though I use to make fun of the crazies doing CrossFit it did sound like a sure fire way to get my lazy but in shape.  And so I joined up with stars in my eyes and dreams of looking like Gigi Hadid.

My first class was horrendous. I was red faced, short of breath and felt like I was going to die. But the coach was all like RUN OR DIE. The next day I woke up and every muscle in my body hurt. As the day went on it only got worse. At 3pm I was feeling nauseous, light headed and having cold sweats. I was physically ill. I picked Ben up from school at 3:30 drove home slouched over my steering wheel, plopped my kid in front of the TV and collapsed into a hot bath. That night I was passed out in bed at 8pm.

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I totally over exerted my poor body, it was in shock and shutdown mode. I knew that this couldn’t be good for me. I had to pace myself, start slow and work up to my goal. A little bit at a time.  But unfortunately I’ve realised that this is not the Crossfit way. They don’t care that you haven’t exercised for over two years and are basically starting from scratch. It’s no pain, no gain all the way. When I’m tired and taking it easy for a bit so I can catch my breath I see them puffing out their cheeks at me.

Mind over matter. Never quit. GO, GO, GO!

Crossfit really is like a cult. They have inside jokes, spend weekends together at Crossfit games and show up early for class so they can have a little mini rope climbing battle. They time every little thing they do, count every single rep and then continue to discuss it amongst each other. I felt like a complete outsider. Like an imposter, the fat kid who gets picked last. I hated the look of judgement because I missed a class, because to me Crossfit was something I tried to squeeze in between my day job, running my own small business and family life. It wasn’t my main priority, and I got the feeling that to them this was just not cool.

I thought if I just kept going maybe it will get better. There’s probably just a ‘settle in’ phase that I had to survive.  But then my knee started bothering me.  I couldn’t do squats; it hurt to run and eventually got so bad that I couldn’t even get out of the bath without fearing a knee replacement. I then read this article about Crossfit and that was it, the final sign that Crossfit just wasn’t for me.

Last week Friday I joined good old Virgin Active again, and HONEY I’m HOME. I’m definitely more of a disappear in the masses mind my own business kind of exerciser. So getting my Gigi Hadid body may take a bit longer now that I’m back on my own training schedule and not that of a fitness obsessed Crossfit junkie instructor but I’m cool with that.

*Please note this is my personal opinion. Lots of people totally love crossfit and get great results from the high impact exercise. I’m just not one of them*

What happened to the mombod

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Back in the day the words “don’t worry you’re eating for two” basically appeared next to the positive line on the pregnancy test. The gynaecologist seldom uttered the words “you are gaining too much weight” and maternity clothes were empire dresses or loose kaftans. Moms took their time loosing the pregnancy weight and even after still sported a soft tummy and stretch marks.

Fast forward a few years and you’ve got a gynae weighing you with a clipboard and a stopwatch ready to send you around the block if you are too heavy. Maternity clothes are tight and form fitting because the only thing that should be getting bigger is your belly. New mom’s lose the pregnancy weight and have an even better body than they did before the pregnancy within a month. How?

Yummy mummy use to be a compliment but these days its more of a demand.

Don’t get me wrong I’m all for healthy, but…

December holidays I was sitting on the beach with my little fat roll and thigh-gapless thighs in my pretty new one piece thinking it’s okay I’m a mom of a toddler. But then I looked at all the other mom’s around me in their gorgeous bikini’s looking absolutely fabulous. Not a roll or stretch mark in sight. Their hair was freshly highlighted and their teeth whiter than a trophy wife’s Range Rover Evoque. All I kept thinking was can someone please point me to the chubby mom beach.

I mean with a full time job, because everyone keeps telling you that in these times you cant be a one income household so go work woman, I find it almost impossible to even make my 2 Crossfit classes a week happen. Where do you find the energy to survive a day with a head strong toddler on juice and salads alone. Parenting without bread? How do you even?

So sure I’m all for being healthy, but yummy mummy, gosh that’s a big ask.

Back to school problems

Monday is back to school for Ben and I’m so anxious my head might just explode. Sure this isn’t our first time like some of my other mom friends, but Ben will now be in the 2 -3 year old class with a new teacher and a whole new list of ”what to bring to school” requirements. Also only working parents will understand the madness and chaos that happens between 6am – 8am every morning trying to get you and the toddler dressed and out the door in time. I am not looking forward to that at all.

So problem number one on the list is an Art Apron. Sounds easy enough right. Nope! I spent the day driving from store to store without success, sure I did leave this till the very last, but still who would have though an art apron would turn out to be such a unicorn. First place I tried was Mambo’s. They had 2 kinds and I really liked the one but it was made of a really think PVC material and I don’t even want to imagine what it must feel like wearing that during a 39 degree heatwave. The other option was a thinner material but had string around the neck and back and knowing Ben he will never tolerate that string around his neck. It was also and awful bright construction worker bib yellow. Clicks had no idea what I was talking about and Crazy Store’s was so big it would probably be a loose fit for a 4 year old. Toys R Us had a really nice one but also for 3 years and up and at R200 it was a ridiculous option. Is the universal perception that only kids of 3 years and older paint?  So tail between my legs I went back to Mambo’s for the ugly yellow. It will have to do till I can find a better option.

Problem number two on the list is the schools new ‘No hat, no outside play’ rule. A very very good rule to have unless you have a kid who feels about hats the way I feel about Uma Thurman’s acting. Totally hate it.  Since birth he could not stand having anything on his head. I have a bunch of cute knitted owl hats and beanies with ears that was never worn for more than 5 minutes. The only hat he will wear is my Panama hat and only to be funny. Once the joke is over so is the hat. So I’m sending him to school on Monday with a brand new Cotton On hat, how they’ll keep it on his hat is the new teachers problem.

And that brings me to the biggest problem of all. The new teacher. You see Ben adores his previous teacher and even though teachers aren’t suppose to have favourites Ben was definitely Snowy’s favourite. She scratched his back while he drank his bottle at nap time, she often sneaked him an extra cookie and he was permanently glued to her side. When he had an off day and cried in the morning he would immediately stop as soon as she picked him up. She is also the only person who can successfully get him to take antibiotics. I never ever worried about him while at school because I knew he was in loving caring hands. I’m sure the new teacher is lovely and will take good care of him but I just know to Ben she’ll never be Snowy. So yes I expect tears on Monday and I definitely expect to hear that he tried to escape to his old classroom a few times. I spoke to Snowy about this and she said its quite normal for them to walk back to their old classroom but she always walk them right back and eventually they will stop and accept their new normal. I just don’t want Ben to think he has been abandoned by someone he loves, that Snowy no longer wants to spent time with him. I’m probably over thinking this but my poor mom heart is just so sad for my little boy. I’m hoping he’ll prove me wrong and be all cool with the change. You never know with these tiny people.

So good luck to all the moms dropping a tiny one off at school this week. May we all make it to the car before we start to cry.

A quick catch up

You’ve probably heard this quite often from everyone the last couple of weeks but, gosh can you even believe its December already? Where did the year go?

I’ve been counting down the hours to pay day so I can start Christmas shopping. I have a very, very long list this year and even though buying Christmas presents is one of my most favourite things to do I am feeling a tiny bit anxious.

But our tree is up, Ben is busy decorating some Christmas wrapping paper and I catch myself singing Jingle Bells in public places more often than I care to admit. Yes the fact that another year of our lives are over scares the living daylight out of me but I also love, love, love the Holidays so I’m feeling pretty good.

Ben

On Friday it’s the big End of Year Christmas concert at school. Both sets of grandparents will be joining us for the show and we are all extremely excited. They’ve been practising their dance ‘routine’ (a term I use lightly) at school for weeks now. Ben is a little ADD and his teacher told me that he’ll practise for a bit and then wanders off looking for the next big adventure so I’m not too sure how much of the dance ‘routine’ he actually knows, but even if they all just run around the stage like tiny lunatics it will still be the best damn show I’ve ever seen (excited, proud mom over here).

End of year also means it’s his last few weeks in toddler class before moving up to the next age group.  I am feeling quite emotional over this and also quite stressed. Ben adore his teacher Snowy. He follows her around like a little shadow. He gives her hugs and kisses when it’s time to say goodbye in the afternoon. When we are strict with him at home or we force him to do something he doesn’t want to, like nap, he’ll usually call for her. Snowy!! Snowy!! In this sad little voice. I just don’t know how he will cope without her next year. Making him understand that he is no longer in her class is going to be one of the toughest jobs to date. Especially because he will still see her on the playground every day but she will have new kids to look after. Can you hear that? It’s the sound of my heart breaking because growing up is a tough tough job.

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Home

We have now been in our new little house in Strand for 1 year and 3 months. Although we still miss Stellenbosch and estate life we have settled in well and I’ve come to really love our new house. In August they finally built the front wall so our garden is now fully enclosed. It used to be a major stress because we live on quite a busy street and we hardly ever let Ben play in the front garden because he would head straight for the street. Having the wall there and a bit more privacy has made such a huge difference. First off Knox our Golden Retriever was able to return home after staying with my parents for a year. Ben can now play outside without us hovering. The garden was a bit of a mess and quite overgrown so we have spent the last couple of weekends cleaning it out and planting grass. Ben loves it. He plays in the mud. Kick the ball around, chase Knox and love watering the plants. We still have lots to do but its getting there.

Work:

My 5 month temp contract ended in May. It was a really stressful job at a large company and I was quite happy to say goodbye. Temping is cool because you work for a few months and then you get some time off at home, but it also means that I get a steady income for a few months and then nothing. So I really wanted to get a permanent job so we can start planning and budget for things like a new car and baby number 2. But after a few months of looking for the perfect job money got really, really tight and I once again found myself accepting another temporary contract. It’s a shorter contract than usual, I started end October and will finish end February, with a 2 week break during December. It’s a small company (which I prefer) and the job is pretty basic. So no stresses and crying in front of colleagues this time around. It’s also only halfday, I finish at 13:00. Which is perfect because in September I started my own little business and working halfday gives me afternoons to work on that. Yay Kids sell wooden play blocks for kids that are both educational but also pretty enough to be used as room décor. I’ve been getting such positive feedback from everyone since Yay Kids launched end September and we were also included in the YOU magazines Christmas gift guide. Exciting stuff! I have so many plans for the little business but that’s a whole blog post on its own. If you want to have a look at our blocks find us on Facebook here.

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Rain Mystery Tour

I was lucky enough to be invited to attend the Rain Mystery Tour with some of my favourites bloggers on Saturday. We all had to meet up at Charly’s Bakery at 8am. Obviously since I had to get up early on a day that is usually a sleep in day Ben had one of the worst nights in a long time and ended up sleeping in our bed. When my alarm went off early on Saturday morning I was definitely not a ray of sunshine. Luckily as we arrived at Charly’s Bakery the lovely Rain ladies were ready with a giant Ou Meul Bakery muffin and coffee. We all had to get on the bus to depart to our mystery destination. Along the way we were given clue’s. I had no idea, not a clue. Luckily we had some very clever girls on the bus that figured it out way sooner than expected.

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Mosaic Private Sanctuary Stanford

Mosaic Lodge in Stanford was kind enough to host us for the day. I completely love Stanford. I keep nagging my parents to retire there so I can visit all the time so I was thrilled when I realised we were heading there.

Mosaic Private Sanctuary is gorgeous. The scenery, the lodge, the private suites its all heaven. Definitely on my bucket list.

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All about Rain Africa

After a quick welcome drink we had a session with Bev Missing the creator of Rain and learned more about perfumery and her incredible trip to Kunene Namibia to learn more about the Himba people. The Himba women collect Omumbiri (gum from trees) to make their own perfume.

We were then introduced to Rain’s 3 new fragrances: Twig, Leaf and Nectar.

I loved all three but Nectar is definitely my favourite.

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The rest of the day included a tour of the lodge, a safari drive where who learned more about the fynbos and flowers of the area and then finished off the day with the best 10 minute neck and shoulder massage.

It was also so great to spend some time with some of my favourite bloggers.

I’ve been wanting to go more organic for a while now and already use mostly organic products on Ben. I’m hoping to now give my beauty cupboard an overhaul and swap all the nasties out for organic products. Rain is definitely at the top of my list.

Bedroom Inspiration: Boys

All boy moms will know the feeling of walking down the girls aisle ‘oohing and aahing’ at all the pretty pastel décor only to get to the boys aisle and be disappointed by all the bright blue and red cartoon filled things.  Finding a plain white or blue cot duvet is like looking for a lost engagement ring on the beach.

So here’s a few treasures I found on the internet. I am super excited for H&M to open in South Africa in October because I need that rug in Bens room.

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GET THE LOOK:

1. ABC Stickaroo

2.Duvet Set

3.Cotton Rug

4.Mia Melange baskets

5.Bear cushion

6.Honeycomb shelf

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