{Personal} What The Greatest Showman has shocked me into realising [true story]

Last night Husband and I had a date night. Usually, I would have to say a long-overdue one, but we have been blessed these last couple of weeks with a regular date night. Because it kind of feels normal now, we decided to go out for a quick bite and then straight home to watch one of the many movies that we have missed over the last 4 years. We did just that. A quick early dinner and then straight home. My turn to pick the movie - in full disclosure I usually pick something I know he also wants to watch otherwise I have to try to enjoy the movie WITH HIS FACE. Very seldom does he enjoy my movies, and he makes no secret of it. But last night I decided to hell with it, live dangerously. I shall pick what I want to watch. The Greatest Showman it is. An old movie in today’s terms, I missed it when it was on both the cinema as well as television circuits. And I love those type of movies! They are pure escapism to me. Boldly I declared that is what I wanted to watch.

Read More
{Relationships} How to introduce Christ to your kids, no matter how young they are [hint: your life]

I don’t ever remember having the sex talk. I don’t think there ever was a sex talk. I grew up in a single-parent house where my Mom was very open and comfortable. So we kind of grew into the sex talk. Every time the opportunity presented itself she would drop a few facts and go about her business. It never was an awkward conversation, and if we come to her with questions she gave us the factual answers. Kind of the same way we experienced religion. I cannot remember that we ever had to be “taught” how to love God, or how to seek Him. Religion was part of our daily lives, sprinkled here and there throughout the day.

Read More
{Effortless entertaining} South African approved simple Christmas lunch menu ideas [Christmas series]

Our Christmas lunch usually centers around salads. For starters we will usually have some sort of bread table, with lots of fresh breads, butter, preserves, cheeses, cold meat, fruit, and spreads or pates. Then for mains we will do some sort of poultry, a braaied meat like leg of lamb, and maybe gammon – that is served cold. This is paired with interesting salads, and maybe roast potatoes. For dessert, you can play around as long as there is ice cream in some form. If you would like to move away from the “traditional” menu this year, here are some suggestions

Read More
{Relationships} Non-commercial and minimalist Christmas traditions to start with your kids [Christmas series]

Because I have to keep the kids busy and entertained over December (school is closed and because I work from home, I am the designated child-keeper) while building the anticipation for Christmas day, and keeping in the Christmas spirit, I have started a few traditions of my own. They are mostly activity-based, designed to keep the kids busy as well as giving them an incentive to behave. That doesn’t mean we skip some of the traditional traditions, such as going to a Christmas concert or listening to carols, it just means that we have a few extra things to do during December.

Read More
{Personal} Habits of well-being: Why it is important to prioritise me-time

Society puts so much pressure on us to succeed. Add to that obsessive, competitive personalities and additional pressure to be the best mother/daughter/partner/businesswomen/friend/etc. and you have a recipe for disaster. So often we don’t even notice that we are running at full steam, without ever taking a break to recharge. From the outside it looks as if we have it all together – a thriving career, obedient well-rounded kids, a loving relationship, a clean house. But on the inside we are slowly dying of exhaustion. Of course, most of the goals that we are killing ourselves to meet were set by us ourselves, and only we will know if we do not reach them. But still, we allow the pressure to steal our time. Time that is also meant to be enough to take care of ourselves.

Read More
{Relationships} Why I want my 2-year-old and 4-year-old to know and love God

I consider myself a deeply spiritual person. I love God and knows He loves me. I read the Bible as well as any other religious books I can get my hands on, and I love asking questions. Even the hard ones. I have never received an answer that didn’t satisfy me, and in most cases that answer came from the Bible. My desire is that my kids share this love, and have this relationship. How?

Read More
{Relationships} Christmas - How to get small kids excited about Christmas, for the right reasons

It is not even Dec yet and I am already a bit over Christmas. Not because I don’t like Christmas (that used to be the case, before I had kids of my own) but because I have already a few weeks behind me of trying to explain to our 3 year old that Santa has not yet come, and that is why her Christmas stocking is still empty. Against my better judgement, but to the kids’ delight, we put up our tree already mid-November. I guess that is where the confusion started, but it was either that or argue every single day over the fact that our house looked like the Grinch’s lair while the shops looked like winter wonderlands. So we put up the tree and some decorations. A1 then told me they were not enough, so I made more and put that up. Still not enough. Going to make more, soon. If the Christmas spirit doesn’t get the better of me.

Read More
{Relationships} How to keep Christ in Christmas [Christmas series]

By keeping Christ in Christmas you will raise kids who understand the true meaning of Christmas, so for their sake as well as the world (who watches what us “so-called Christians” do with hawk’s eyes) here are some ideas how to keep Christ in Christmas

Read More
{Relationships} Sisterly love - Having a sister is one of the best things in the world!

Having grown up with two brothers I cannot speak from personal experience, but watching my two daughters unfold and deepen their relationship daily proofs to me that having a sister is one of life's biggest blessings. I never wanted only one child. Kids need siblings, how else do they learn to share and forgive? And science is on my side! Apparently, having a sister can make you a better person, physically and mentally.

Read More
{Kitchen tips} Never buy imported fruits and vegetables - seasonal is better! [Nifty seasonal chart]

Growing up, I remember waiting anxiously for the summer to arrive, because as the weather got warmer, so did the fruit offering increase. The hot months were the months that you could buy peaches and grapes and watermelon and berries. During the cold months, in winter, all my least-favourite fruit was available – oranges, naartjies, all the citrus fruit. The only fruits that you could get year-round were apples and bananas (although some months dirt cheap and others not so much). The rest were seasonally available. No imported fruit, or greenhouses that grew the fruit year round, and definitely no cold rooms to keep fruit fresh for the next offseason. You ate what could be grown and harvested in that season.

Read More
{Effortless entertaining} The A life lead simply Christmas entertaining cheat sheet [Hosting 101]

To keep the crazy to a minimum, here are my best tips and tricks, as well as the menus we will use for the 3 get-togethers. We normally start getting ready at least 2 days in advance.

Read More
{Parenting} For the love of cooking: Teaching kids how to cook

My kids are now almost-4 and almost-2 – good ages to start instilling a love for the kitchen. If all else fails, at least good ages to start teaching them how to cook. At the end of the day you don’t really have to love cooking as long as you are able to provide a well-rounded and balanced meal at least 5 days a week, and are able to get new recipes to try so that you don’t end up serving the same 4 menus year round. I have 2 girls, and stereotypes aside, they must be able to at least provide for themselves. Again, a love for cooking is not compulsory but would make life that much easier.

Read More
ESRIDA BRITSComment
{Spoonies} Natural pain relief that are worth looking into - I don't mind being the guinea pig! [not a doctor!]

I was diagnosed with arthritis about 6 months ago. My preliminary tests indicated Rheumatoid, but my rheumatologist was not entirely convinced. Maybe osteo, maybe oligo, or any of the other arthritis variations. He also considered fibromyalgia, but before he could make a definite diagnosis I stopped going to him. I was tired of being prodded and poked and just getting more and more pills while nothing else really changed. That really riled me - why is healthcare only defined by the medication that you can be prescribed? Why do our medical practitioners (most of them in any case) not consider other factors? And then recommend a holistic approach? Do the medical community not understand that inflammation is caused by something that irritates the immune system, and that SOMETHING can be anything from physical activity to food allergens.

Read More
{Spoonies} Update: No more pills! How I am feeling, and more

All of you who have been following me on the blog and social media know that I have stopped taking my pills. It has now been almost 3 weeks, so most of the benefits should be worked out by now. Luckily also most of the side effects. Although I didn’t take them that long, it was still long enough - anything that you place in your body has an effect, and if that effect is not to your liking, then stop. That is how I felt, and that is why I stopped. Not only were the pills making me feel tired and lethargic and nauseous and foggy, but they were also a pain to remember. I am not good with meds, and the doctor expected me to remember to take my pills twice a day. That is stress and anxiety that I do not need on top of my normal stress and anxiety.

Read More
{Relationships} Parenting a strong-willed child so that they can set the world on fire

We have been blessed with two beautiful girls. We have also been blessed with both having iron-strong wills and an almost insatiable desire to challenge our authority. There is no debating or arguing with them – what they want they wants and normally get. Although a challenge now, developmental experts all agree that having a strong-willed child actually makes parents pretty lucky. Usually smart, confident and fiercely loyal, they also show a remarkable capacity for problem solving and creative thinking. Their dead-set determination to reach their goals makes them exempletory teens and young adults. They are usually self-motivated and inner-directed, go after what they want and are almost impervious to peer pressure.  As long as their parents or caregivers as well as educators resist the urge to “break their will” they often become leaders who will pave the way when no one else will.

Read More
{Relationships} Kids: Why nurturing creativity sets them on the road to success

So you want a creative child. But how can you encourage and boost your child’s creativity? There are many things that you, as a parent, can do to nurture your children’s creativity. Each of the following ways are about you nurturing your children’s creativity, but they can just as easily be used for yourself

Read More
{Relationships} Kids: Powerful parenting phrases to help you build a strong, unconditional relationship with your kids

Every good parent has asked themselves if they are doing a good job. But really how would you know? I used to joke that I hope I give my kids just enough emotional scars to make them quirky and interesting. No idea if I am succeeding, but hoping for that over totally screwing them up.

Read More
{Effortless entertaining} Hosting 101: A simple guide to hosting a stress-free party, ensuring that you actually enjoy the event!

We are in that time of the year, when we flitter from one party to the next. Life is busy and hurried, and inevitably your turn comes around to hosting. But hosting does not come natural to all, and even if it does, being tired and busy can take its toll. So when you have to host your family or friends or colleagues or whoever, use this quick guide to ensure you take the stress out of impress, and enjoy the party as much as the guests.

Read More
{Effortless entertaining} Hosting 101: how you can plan and execute a successful company year-end function, without spending a fortune or having a nervous breakdown

Your company year-end function is usually the highlight for most of the employees, and for management, it should be as well. It should be approached and handled with much care, and spending as much resources on the event is not necessary, it is imperative. The company has this one chance, this one opportunity, to not only thank the employees for a great year that is passed, but to also ensure they tackle the following year with gusto, enthusiasm and eagerness. It is one of the fastest and cheapest (over the long term) ways of building staff loyalty. As with customers, keeping a loyal staff member costs almost 5 times less than looking for and training a new staff member. So even if budgets are tight, spare a few rands to make your employees feel appreciated.

Read More