We start our Christmas vibes round about November, the same time our weather starts warming up nicely on the West coast. The Southern Hemisphere is very different from what is traditionally celebrated as a snowy time. We indulge in sunshine and beach lunches, and for Christmas we usually celebrate on the eve of the 24th. Even though the sun only sets at about 20:30, it is much cooler in the evening and we can enjoy the calming sounds of the ocean while a fire for the ambiance crackles in the background.
This year I decided to create a calming table with pinks, greens and whites. My great granny’s pink dinner set came in handy and I really appreciated the full set of pretty pinks.Read More »
Turning Seven already? How many times do we feel life is just happening so fast! Especially when you see your baby become a little girl with her own ideas and ever-growing curiosity. Choosing what to do on your Birthday is always fun, and this year I left Mishka to decide on the activities, I just […]
You have a load to carry, not to mention a very tired little one after a long day on the beach, at a picnic or on the camping site. The streamlined, all-black Wonder Wagon has pockets for everything. Easily accessible drinking- bottle storage in the front and all the rest fits neatly in the large […]
Moving house twice in less than a year takes its toll on a family’s ability to really root itself in a community. Not to mention the impact it has on children. Oh and a marriage, we laugh about it now, but while you’re in the middle of it that one last bowl which has to […]
When entering Terra Madre farm you immediately get a sense of an old worldly goodness, where everything is fresh and organic!What struck me most was Nicole’s incredible hospitality, but when I learned more about her and her family it all made sense. This has been her dream for more than twenty years! Owning and running […]
So many factors contribute to making a mind-shift towards living a more responsible life. I’m not talking about being boring and judgemental, I’m referring to our responsibility as custodians of our natural world. For us, it was definitely moving out of the city and to the coast. It is as if our attention transposed from […]
I am one of five and two of them have three of their own. My choice to have one child often sparks interesting conversations, sometimes even heated debates. Is there a right or wrong when it comes to the number of children you choose to have, more specifically does it negatively impact on the child? […]
Kite Days A kite, a sky, and a good firm breeze And acres of ground away from trees. And one hundred yards of clean, strong string– O boy, O boy! I call that Spring! Mark Sawyer The wonderful sense of freedom associated with flying a kite is priceless, which is a bit paradoxical if you […]
As part our appreciation for Agriculture, we visited a few beautiful farms in and around the Hermanus area. I can’t get enough of the simple life so many people are creating for themselves on the little pieces of land. What could be more fulfilling than producing your own food, let alone share your surplus with […]
Why do we celebrate Mother’s day when I would really like to celebrate my daughter! Being Mishka’s mom is the greatest honour and joy of my life. I get to spend time with this amazing person who wants to spend time with me too. It is just the most overwhelming feeling of companionship and admiration. […]
Projects with heart and soul, a conservation goal and community upliftment motives are exactly the kind of good news stories we love to tell. We want to thank Heart of Abalone for taking us on this very special private tour to admire the wonderful work of Abagold Farm in Hermanus. Heart of Abalone is the […]
WoolVreign was born out of a need to share the miracle that is wool with all babies. The small farm, Blauwkrans-Wes, situated between Graaff-Reinett and Jansenville in the Karoo, Eastern Cape was the starting point and is still the heartbeat within WoolVreign. This is a beautiful area, but so hard, arid and mostly very dry […]
I still remember the day I discovered Matsidiso, it was after many Pinterest pins and never finding anything remotely close to what I see from overseas manufacturers. I always dreamt of being able to go to Italy or Spain to get my very own genuine leather, authentically handcrafted shoes! But then out of nowhere, I […]
We were rushing out to a dinner party at friends and Mishka kept on going back to her room for more doll accessories: “no mommy I have to get her bottles because we will be away for a long time and she will get hungry, no mommy I have to go back for her blankie,” […]
After spending a beautiful day at Landmeterskop Farm, surrounded by hatchlings and sheep I realised how little time our kids spend on farms these days. I was lucky to have two uncles and grandfather who farmed. Many holidays were spent on these farms. During those visits, we waited for the cows to come home for their […]
Nothing quite nourishes the soul like a morning spent with your kids in the garden. We do this often, but very few of us know how incredibly fertile and productive our immediate natural surroundings are. Foraging for our own berries or herbs can be immensely satisfying and tunes right into our beautiful primitive nature. Our […]
To us, it is the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the tomb after his crucifixion. We are grateful that He died for our sins, it gives us hope every day. We love spending time together as a family, even though we are a small family now, living in Hermanus, far away […]
Their concept is simple, their food absolutely delicious! I’ve always been very sceptical about ready meals because we’ve been brought up to believe that nothing in a box can ever be as good as mum’s! So the stigma died very hard for me. I am a true believer of making everything from scratch, be it […]
Mindfulness should be practical whether you live on a farm or in a city-centre apartment. It IS for everyone. If you are in the moment, you are mindful. Being in the moment is about getting out of your head and into your body, experiencing what is here and now, not regretting yesterday or fearing tomorrow. […]
As promised, a little bit more about Fairy Caravan’s Stories and Activities. Diana learns to meditate Diana Dassie used to be a bit of a worry-pot. “What if I’m late for school?” “How will I get dry if it rains today?” “What if there’s a spider hiding under my chair?” One morning, walking and […]
Liesl van der Hoven – what a remarkable woman! The creator of Fairy Caravan, the story therapist, the inspiration of mindfulness, to me and to many children. What an absolutely genius idea! “Liesl is an artist, story teller and the owner of Fairy Caravan. She creates handmade toy characters using her illustrations printed on fabric. […]
We became aware of the concept of mindfulness when our lives started moving too fast for us to make sense of it. One moment you are dating and living in a little apartment, the next you have a home larger than you ever imagined, a child in pre-school with activities every afternoon, keeping up with the Van der Merwe’s and just charging through life. It’s when someone else stands in your garden and admires the beautiful green haven, you realise, I don’t even notice it anymore, I don’t appreciate this enough. Then all the other questions follow, the ones bringing you to a stand-still and forcing you to ask what are we doing?
It took us two years to plan our exodus, our liberation and freedom from all of this stuff, the racing about, towards more and more stuff.
In the process, I started reading up on mindfulness, because I heard it somewhere or stumbled upon it on social media, but it struck a chord. This is what it basically is:
Mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us.”Mindful.org
That in itself is so much to grasp. It translates to not being too caught up in the noise, in the hustle, but to understand that you are here, in THIS moment, in mind and body.
Reach Out explains it as:
“Mindfulness is about training yourself to pay attention in a specific way.
When a person is mindful, they:
Focus on the present moment
Try not to think about anything that went on in the past or that might be coming up in future
Purposefully concentrate on what’s happening around them
Try not to be judgemental about anything they notice, or label things as ‘good’ or ‘bad’.
To me, this is core, non-judgemental. What does it mean? Try to imagine not judging a person, or an experience or a product. As James Davis puts is:
Mindfulness is really the beginning, the first steps of soul consciousness. In order to see ourselves and others in a non-judgmental way, we must see ourselves (body, mind, emotion, world) from ABOVE. So mindfulness is taking control by going off-automatic-pilot, and it is the soul that does this.
Are you convinced yet? Me neither, it is still very abstract, an idea. How do we implement this? How do we live this? To clarify it for me I had to go back to an old time favourite source, which helped me all through my ‘wonder’ years (I wonder why this, I wonder how this) – How to for Dummies!
According to dummies you should try and understand the three aspects of Mindfulness:
Mindfulness has three different aspects that operate together seamlessly to bring about a state of mindful awareness. Print out and pin up this list to remind yourself of what these are.
Intention – Your intention is what you hope to get from practising mindfulness. You may want stress reduction, greater emotional balance or to discover your true nature. The strength of your intention helps to motivate you to practise mindfulness on a daily basis and shapes the quality of your mindful awareness.
Attention – Mindfulness is about paying attention to your inner or outer experience. Your mindful attention is mainly developed through various different types of meditation – either formal, traditional or informal – when talking, cleaning or driving, for example.
Attitude – Mindfulness involves paying attention to certain attitudes, such as curiosity, acceptance and kindness.
Okay, so now I understand the concept, but how do I utilise this knowledge. Because when you are dealing with a real issue, can you go back and think about the three aspects and magically feel better?
Dummies helped me again! With the RAINformula:
R – Recognisethe emotion you’re feeling. Name the emotion in your mind if you can.
A – Acceptthe experience you’re having. Yes, you probably don’t like the feeling, but the reality is the emotion is here at the moment.
I – Investigate. Become curious about your experience. Where do you feel the emotion in your body? What kind of thoughts are going through your mind?
N – Non-identification. See the emotion as a passing event rather than who you actually are, just as different images are reflected in a mirror but are not the mirror. Different emotions arise and pass in you, but are not you, yourself. The most powerful step is non-identification. Have the attitude ‘anger is arising and will soon pass away’ or ‘sadness is coming up in me, and at some point will dissolve’.
Sometimes you just need to do one step, whereas at other times you may want to work through the whole formula. Practise using the formula whenever you can, so when things become challenging for you, you’ll find it easier to use.
We are still a long way from perfecting this practice, but we do it daily, at one moment or another, just reminding ourselves to recognise the beauty of our surroundings while rushing to be on time for a school activity, or accept that we have a challenge living through a drought but understand that our attitude will determine our outlook and possibility to find solutions for it.
I was so lucky to find Gillian Coetzee! What I love most about her work is the depth and natural tone of her photographs. She has insight into the message I want to convey and captures essential moments and expressions as it happens.
Everything you need to take your kids and all your stuff to the beach and other outings. Our tribe was born in the sunny town of Ballito, South Africa. We value family life and the easygoing outdoor coastal lifestyle. We are a tribe of adventure seekers and world explorers. Our mission is to inspire families […]
Quirky oversized knotted cushions are beautiful accessories to brighten up a room and endless fun for Mishka to play with. Koosh-uhn is an online store that designs and creates products for little ones, homes and special occasions. We love custom designs so please contact us with your ideas so we can bring them to […]
Part of our journey to a slower life is finding alternatives to mass production. The majority of relatively affordable linen and soft furnishings tend to be made of synthetic fabrics and dyes, mostly to cut costs and to stock the fast-growing one-stop-shops (all of the major food chain stores now stock décor). That is why […]
Rosie-bee is a small business run from our family farm in the beautiful Limpopo province. My inspiration comes from my little girl and also from my background as a botanist – I love unique floral and nature-inspired prints. Childhood is about fun, imagination and a bit of whimsy thrown in the mix – and that is […]
How many times a day do we say I loooove this or looooove that. We even say I love you to our loved ones, often but not always affectionately or with meaning but just out of habit. In celebration of St. Valentines day, a day which is now merely a day of expecting gifts and […]
Totemteepee creates fun play tents and absolutely personalise it to your taste and colour scheme. Our teepee goes from room to room as we move the fun from room to room. We even take ours along on our yearly caravan holiday.
All our wooden goods are handcrafted and made with love. All items are hand painted, and colours may vary from images.
Please feel free to discuss all custom orders or ideas. We love to help your ideas come to life.
ROSE AND VICKORY CO. offers modern and unique handcrafted decor, educational wooden toys and an exquisite selection of apparel and accessories for babies and toddlers, as moms and friends we were inspired by our little ones to pursue our dreams, and turn it into reality by developing our brand, and providing unique products to our clients.
We specialize in creating customised decor, toys and more, and create timeless spaces, and endless fun for your little ones we are passionate about creating beautiful products and offer our services to create the things you wish existed.
Two friends, sharing a love for tassels, pompoms and everything woven. All made by hand in South Africa! One of our most beloved and practical items from their online shop is the Moses Basket. We comfortable carry all our beach essentials in this large woven basket. They sell the most beautiful African baskets, from Laundry […]
We are serious about the word HANDMADE. We love using locally woven fabrics. We adore all things cute and pretty. The most adorable Pinocchio toy we have ever seen and this is just one of many of Little Handmade’s creative items. Rompers and onesies with unique slogans to celebrate every memorable moment in your little […]
Simplicity, comfort and fun are all words to perfectly explain kiddies clothing from Tonian Closet. From baby to toddler to little girl, these beautiful and practical clothes make every day a fun day for your little one.
The most creative and soft hand-made dolls can only be from Kara Kenya. Made to order Heirloom dolls, hand embroidered and painted by hand. Made out of 100% Cotton. Perfect for gentle play or as an art piece for your room.
One of my first suppliers was Bear Bear & Me. Comfortable and pretty shoes are irresistible! A beautiful vintage inspired footwear collection created by award-winning fashion designer Carmen Rochelle. Our footwear collections are classic, stylish and sometimes quirky and are inspired by shoes worn throughout the decades. Our brand aims to focus on hand-made artisanal footwear aesthetics with each […]
Hi, I am Nytjie from Opgedollie. I often get a giggle for the name, but I like that it explains exactly what I do. I am a proud mommy of two beautiful kids, Vaughan and Livé. Opgedollie is my passion, I am a Professional Makeup Artist but, ARTIST best describes me. My most successful product […]
Mossie Handmade is a true gem! Beautiful and well crafted felt toys, shoes and decorations. Perfect for every occassion. Nicolette van der Westhuizen’s attention to detail is what makes her felt goodies stand out. Craftmanship! I started Mossie in March 2010. The name reflects my love for birds and the Mossie is a very humble […]
There was only one, the perfect choice for creating Mishka’s mermaid outfit – Lienielief! This beautiful and creative mermaid tail and top are just two of many of Arlene’s crochet projects. She started out with the all comforting and universal (but essential item) – The Blankie. Those nimble fingers were made for bigger things. She […]
Family photo shoots need not be as dreaded as most people find them to be. With the right attitude and preparation, it can actually turn into very memorable moments, stories to tell and photos to show. Over the years I have learned a few things to make our family shoots worth the effort and expense, […]
Some idols never go out of fashion. Disney’s “The Little Mermaid” was popular when I was in my teens, but I do remember my youngest sister being absolutely besotted! Times change, but classics stick! Mishka is in love. To add to this inspiration she was told a little story by my dad. A story which […]
The hustle and bustle of Christmas is now just a memory but before we start our year officially, I love to reminisce about the beautiful moments we shared, mainly to prolong the wonderful festive spirit. Who can forget those dreaded days before going back to school! This is an antidote to that awful feeling, dwelling […]
My idea of Christmas was very much influenced by my Mom’s idea – Spicy, rich and white. Her idea of the festive season, in return, is rooted in years of English Christmas traditions and the many beautiful Victorian magazines she collected over the years. We would spend some Christmases with my Mom’s family, others with […]
On land, at sea, in forests and mountains, there is food all around us, we just have to open up our senses and reconnect. When I saw this, I was immediately intrigued! I signed up! Definitely a delicious wild adventure! Throughout our lives, we take long walks on the beach, explore a few rockpools and […]
Hunter-gatherer primal instinct we are told is embedded in our beings and that it can still impact on our choices in life, particularly in terms of our outlook on our roles in society and our relationships. Living a slower life for me goes hand in hand with exploring these primal callings. To collect what nature […]
We discovered these little creatures a while back and I had to just share this with everyone! 100% Natural and cruelty-free handmade toys! I would love to introduce the creator of these unique characters: Meet Corja: Taaibos has always been a name very close to my heart and at the age of 3, I had […]
When Ian and I met, I had a little Pekingese, he fell in love with her (too). What an unconventional pair, tiny Pekingese and this 1.8 m tall man, Phantom fitted right in the palm of his hand. We were not married for long when we had to get another one, a friend, little Tammy, […]
This is a very special monthly feature. I want to share with you the wonderful women in my life. Ordinary heroes. It can get so lonely sometimes, when you don’t have all the answers as a mom, or when you see all the perfection around you. We all have questions and we all wonder what […]
My little girl is turning six in November and I am remembering all her little achievements and highlight up till now. It feels necessary as she will very soon be growing up at a different pace with very different influences and experiences. Going to primary school will be the beginning of her formal education and […]