#MakingMemories with Kids Emporium

If you know me at all, you will know that I am obsessed with photo’s. I get so much joy in snapping happy (and sometimes not so happy) memories of my kids whether it be on my phone or with the big camera. I am also a firm believer in putting pictures up on my walls and as such my house has plenty of frames up with snaps we’ve taken over the years. Parties, family, our wedding and of course our beautiful blessings : Kade and Gems.


I have created a picture wall under our loft area next to our fireplace and my mom bought me a reconditioned door picture frame about four years ago.  I have just never found the right photo’s to go in there and it is now a standing joke among us that those frames are always destined to say sold…




I was contacted by my friend Mandy-Lee Miller (Pregnant in Cape Town) to work on a #MakingMemories campaign in collaboration with Kids Emporium who ran the making memories campaign in their stores in July whereby they teamed up with local photographers to give their customers some awesome memories.


I don’t know if you’ve ever shopped at a Kids Emporium store but go with lots of money because you will want to buy all the things!  What I love about Kids Emporium is that they think local is lekker and supporting local is a huge part of their ethos.


I got teamed up with the amazing Celia Van Niekerk who gave me a family studio shoot to  review.  All I wanted from the shoot was to get three decent images of the family so that I can finally fill those frames and stop the “sold” jokes.  I don’t know how she did it (Gemma was being her usual Hurricane self and Kade was doing his cheese smile thing) but Celia got some awesome shots… now the problem is I can’t choose which images to use! 0017_samfamily_celiavanniekerkphotography

Help a girl out – tell me in the comments which images you love most!






Is she just being naughty?

Let’s talk a bit about my second born shall we?

There is no doubt she is cute as a button.  It’s probably just as well she is as cute as she is because there is also no doubt that she is a firecracker who pushes us as her parents to the absolute limit.  She is 25 packed into 2.5 years of sass, spunk and consistent boundary pushing.

I mean, look at this face… butter wouldn’t melt right?



Butter would SO melt.  She is the most feisty little girl I have ever met.  Headstrong, willful, determined, sassy, cheeky, manipulative, independent and so mischievous I actually could pull my hair out at some of her antics.  She has long had an obsession with cream, from a very young age we knew if it was quiet that we would 9 out of 10 times find her with her hands in a pot of Sudocrem.


More and more she scuttles around the house and when we question her about what it is she is doing exactly, we either get “nothing” or “mommy don’t bother me”.  As she’s getting older we believed that we could leave her and Kade unsupervised (while playing in the garden or watching a TV show upstairs) for short periods of time without much damage or harm being done, so we could get things like showering or going to loo alone for the first time in five years.  Well.  Clearly we cannot.

I enter into evidence exhibit A:


Exhibit B:


Exhibit C:


We have many, many such exhibits.

This past Saturday she did something so vile that I can’t even bring myself to put it into words.  Lets just leave it at poo, her play kitchen, pots and pans and our TV lounge having a lingering scent of Eu De Hurricane now three days later.

My cream carpets are stained with red lipstick, our walls have been decorated with permanent marker (our Flat screen TV too).   We have tried to discipline her. Time out doesn’t work to make her contrite when she’s been willfully naughty and destructive.  I’ve even given her a whack on her bum and it changes nothing.   Then a friend asked me “is she really destructive or is she just exploring herself and her boundaries?” and “is she being *naughty*?”


She has earned her nickname “Hurricane Gemma” in leaps and bounds in our home.  God knows she pushes our buttons.  It’s not that she has any lack of attention (she is the baby after all and is often I am ashamed to admit pandered to). Is this plain naughtiness?  Or is this an expressive soul searching for her part in this crazy world we live in?

How do we deal with this in a way that doesn’t break her spirit but that doesn’t end up with me with my head down a barrel of wine every day?



You can be anything : A Starlight Adventure





Growing up I was Barbie nuts.  For every birthday and every Christmas I would ear mark which Barbie it was I had my eye on and my folks knew *well* in advance what I was hoping to get as my gift.  I had a peaches and cream Barbie, I had ALL the members of the Barbie and the Rockers band (and the stage mind you), I had Doctor Barbie… even all those years ago Barbie was telling me that I could be anything.

When we were invited to attend the Barbie Starlight Adventure Screening at Sci Bono this last weekend, I jumped at the chance.  Gemma is at the stage now where she is starting to tell Barbie apart from her other dolls and I really wanted to have a fun time with her and Kade at the event.

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It did not disappoint!  The Sci Bono screening area was transformed into a pink and purple galaxy and there were cupcake decorating stations, colouring in stations, face paint stations and of course a meet and greet area where all of Barbie’s biggest fans could get to meet her, hug her and snap a picture with her.  The attention to detail was magnificent – from Barbie hand wash and hand cream in the bathrooms, to the Barbie milkshakes, to the Barbie Starlight Adventure labeling on the water bottles… and the FOOD!  Oh my gosh the FOOD!


Gemma decorated about 5 cupcakes (can anyone say sugar rush) and was SO excited to watch “her” Barbie movie.  She was seriously convinced that the entire event was hosted just for her.  Then my lucky little Hurricane won one of the spot prizes before the movie was screened!  I mean just look at this face – you can’t get more delighted than this!

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The movie itself is a delightful one which all kids will enjoy.  Like all Barbie movies it focuses on how team work, friendship and being true to yourself helps you “win the day”.  Kade really enjoyed it and now wants to become a hover board champion who saves the galaxy!

As if we hadn’t been spoilt enough, each child was given the most amazing goody bag when we left the screening.


Now this is where it gets good for you… I have FOUR (yes you read that right) awesome Barbie goody bags to give away to FOUR readers.  All you have to do is enter using the Rafflecopter draw below.

T’s & C’s

  • Only entries completed via Rafflecopter will be eligible
  • Entrants must be residing within South Africa
  • Competition closes on the 17th October
  • I reserve the right to disqualify entrants

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Shopping Spree at Kamersvol

I have heard about the Kamers/Makers event for a few years now but I have never been to one.  Last year I saw Jenty’s pictures from when she attended and I was bummed that I hadn’t made a plan to attend, so when she asked me if I wanted to go with her and some friends to the Sandton event this past weekend I jumped at the chance…  A morning shopping with friends sans kids and husband?  I didn’t even think twice.

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There is something to be said for shopping with a glass of Saltare champagne in hand, taste testing chocolate, toffee, wine, nougat in fact anything delicious.  Within the first entrance corridor I had already had champers, wine and chilli toffee!  After having had completed a 12km run that morning I figured I deserved a little bit of yummy stuff.

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I really enjoyed browsing all the stalls and there was some really cool stuff on show that I had never seen before.  I am definitely wanting to get a hanging garden.  There was gorgeous jewellery and so many designer clothes.  We had a long discussion about printed fabrics and dealing with Jozi traffic and while there were quite a few dresses I would have loved to buy, the printed fabric and the amount of time I spend in my car just didn’t add up.

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I went with some friends who had been to other Kamers/Makers shows and they said that while this one was nice it wasn’t as good as the one in Irene.  You can be sure that I will be heading to the Irene one as well – especially because I thought the Sandton one was divine!

If you are keen to go to the Irene one it is on from 28th November till the 04th December.

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If I see you there ensure you have your credit card loaded with cash… I have a feeling that if it’s better than the Sandton one, I will be spending quite a lot of money for Christmas.

FNB #joburg10k

I woke up early on Heritage Day because for the first time in a VERY long time I was heading off to go and run a race.  The last race I had run was in March (Cradle which I had to downgrade from a 21km to a 10km cos of flu) and to be honest I was feeling kinda nervous laying out my kit and getting myself into bed early so I could be up and ready to leave for the race at 6am on a public holiday.


I got to the parking (I parked at a secure parking lot opposite Sci-Bono), had a leisurely breakfast, listened to my audio book for a while and then took a stroll to the start line.  The atmosphere was electric!  I was super impressed with how well managed the start line gates were (we were ceded for the race) and the gees with the 947 DJ’s on deck was just amazing!  I must admit it felt very weird running a race by myself.  None of my usual running buddies had entered the race and standing at the start on my lonesome was strange but also quite empowering.  I run by myself quite a lot BUT running a race on your own is not quite the way it’s usually done :)  I only realised AFTER the race that there were actually a lot of people I know that ran it – wish I had known this before the fact so that I could have hooked up with one or two of them.


The race itself was AWESOME!  There were so many bands and entertainers on the route and I have to comment on the marshals (many of whom were dressed up in their heritage gear) and JMPD officers who controlled the traffic – they were FANTASTIC!  Water points were so well managed and there was enough COLD water to go around.

The route was actually tough with a few killer hills but any run that ends in a downhill over the Mandela bridge has my vote!


The only criticism I have for the race is the start time.  It started at 08h00 and by the time I finished in 1 hour 10 minutes it was BOILING hot.  I hope that when they have their 2nd FNB Joburg 10Km next year that they consider starting a bit earlier.  Other than that, this was a divine race and one I will definitely do again!



BK (Before Kids) vs AK (After Kids)

It took me seven years of intense fertility treatment to finally become a mom.  If you had told me six years ago that in six years time I would be a mom to not one but TWO kids, I think I might have either laughed in your face or slapped you in it depending on my emotional state that particular day.

Yet, here I am!  Mother of two gorgeous, demanding, challenging, wonderfully intelligent children.  I would not change that for the world.


I have to be honest, there are a few things I miss about the BK me vs the AK me… and these are a few of them:

BK:   Saturdays were meant for afternoon naps or laying on the couch recovering from a bender the night before.

AK:   Saturdays are filled with kids birthday parties, and an afternoon nap needs to be scheduled with military precision to co-incide with one of said kids afternoon nap and has to be negotiated with promises of repayment to ones spouse.  Bender?  What’s that? A hangover with kids is like voluntarily walking on Lego pieces for hours on end. With a headache.

BK:   Having nice things!  Appreciating nice things!  Knowing nice things will last!

AK: I will just leave this right here…


BK:  Before I had children, I went for monthly pedicures.  I bought myself new bedding.  I bought new underwear often.  I didn’t worry about how much those running pants would cost me.  Basically once the bills were paid my money was my own to spend on myself.

AK: Nuff said…


BK:  Going out for lunch with friends meant a relaxing afternoon at a well known restaurant eating good (hot) food, sipping on Pims or wine, relaxing and chilling and chatting about our lives without a care in the world.

AK:   200w


What are some of the things that you miss about your “before kids” self?

I miss Running

Perhaps this title is a tad misleading because technically I am still running but what I miss about running, is the way I was running last year before I got sick and then injured.

I was running so strong and my times were getting better and better.  I was doing at least one 21km race a month and I was FIT.  I was LEAN.  I was TONED.  I even had it in my head to enter a full marathon (which I ended up downgrading to a 21km due to injury) and I miss feeling confident in my running.


I can’t remember the last 21km race I ran and the way I am feeling right now I have doubts as to whether I can even manage to run a 15km LSD never mind a 21km race.


That said I know that I need to set myself a goal.  I need to get myself into the training for that goal frame of mind and I already know what the challenge I want to achieve is!  I am going to enter the RAC Tough One.  That’s 32km of pure hell hills!

I am amped to get my head (and more importantly) my health back on track with goal!