WIN! A Knock-a-Block set from Stumped Wooden toys

4 July 2019



Construction play is vital for our kids and is one of the many ways we can help them build a variety of skills and behaviours including physical skills, problem solving, testing ideas and planning.



I came across Stumped Wooden Toys via their Instagram account and immediately fell in love with their ethos and products - they are based in Knysna, South Africa and aim to source the best quality timber which is used to create their  handcrafted wooden toys that will withstand time as well as lots of little hands!  I love supporting small businesses - especially ones that think about product handmade, quality items for your kids - we are seriously trying to reduce our plastic in our house and wooden toys are such a beautiful gift to give to your children or their friends.



Children should be encouraged to explore and enjoy constructive play and the Knock-a-Block set from Stumped Wooden Toys offers them the perfect opportunity to do all of these things.  The Knock-a-Block set is such a brilliant idea - consisting of 9 equal blocks, dowels and a wooden hammer which comes in a storage container you would never think it would keep your kids busy! 

But it is the simple things guys and honestly my boys absolutely love their sets as well as all their friends who always run to pick up the set when they come and play.  Harry especially sits for ages, creating different things - the only issue comes in when I maybe have had enough of the hammering!



And the lovely team at Stumped are giving you the chance to win a Knock-a-Block set - all you have to do is follow me and Stumped Wooden toys on Instagram.  It is that easy. 

Winner will be announced on Monday 8th July.  
Open to South African residents only.  
Prize will be sent direct to the winner by Stumped Wooden Toys.

Visit the Cape Town Science Centre these holidays!

23 June 2019

The Cape Town Science Centre (CTSC) is such a special place in Cape Town - you wouldn't know from the outside that it houses a whole world of fun for the kiddo's with over 250 interactive exhibits.  We were so excited when we were gifted some tickets to try out their holiday program - we arrived early on Saturday morning and spent around 4-5 hours there.





Their holiday programme which is running until the 8th July is a sure-fire way to keep your kids busy for the day!  Plus with the in-house cafe you can have a coffee and donuts for some sustenance.




We learnt so much and thoroughly enjoyed our day there - with a demonstration on pressure using balloons, nails and bricks, a science show about reactions, lots of activities like building with foam blocks and cement as well as their new friction slide, there is plenty there to keep the kids as well as the adults entertained.





For only R5 you can even attend a workshop and make your own edible slime!  The staff were amazing with the kids - we could literally just sit back and watch them enjoy the process and what kids doesn't love a bit of slime plus its edible!!!  No, there isn't much nutritional value but hey - it is the holidays right?!





A big thank you to the friendly and helpful staff for making our day there such fun - we will be back soon!

Our weekend escapes

18 June 2019


I wanted to write about our weekends away so I have something to look back on, something to jog my memory as it fades over the years.  We are so privileged to be able to leave Cape Town any weekend we want to.  To get away from the buzz of this busy city and drive just 2 hours outside to what feels to be like our little bit of paradise.






Among fruit farms in the valley of Piket-Bo-Berg is a small holding which my Mom rents – she wanted an adventure and this was it.  It is so beautiful and quiet.  The views are amazing with mountains in eyesight out of every window.  Life seems so much simpler here.  Slower.  

You enjoy the simple things – a hot cup of coffee, the birds singing, going for a walk and watching the kids play for hours with sticks, mud, the animals or swimming in the pool.




We go for walks and call it bundu-bashing.  We explore down paths where no one has probably been before.  We collect dropped porcupine quills, search for frogs, examine the tiniest bugs and admire the views.  We talk about life, what things mean and allow the boys to just explore with no boundaries.  It is so rejuvenating and it lifts our spirits each weekend we come here.

I always have such a feeling of sadness when we have to leave, I really enjoy the drive now.  I put music on or my favourite podcast and listen to wise people talking about how to better my life in whatever which way.  
And I almost feel like I am leaving the answer behind when we head back to Cape Town.

 





I am forever grateful that Jack & Harry get to climb 200 year old oak trees, learn about fruit farms, animals, different seasons, growing vegetables, playing in a beautiful space and exploring nature in this setting.  We are so incredibly blessed.  And I am so glad I have these photos to remember this time by.



Flashes of Light Photography Workshop 2019: Review

30 May 2019



On Saturday I attended the Flashes of Light Photography workshop which was hosted by Shante & Tam - photography and styling gurus respectively.  As soon as they announced they were hosting this workshop a few months ago -  I emailed them for a registration form straight away - I knew I had to go.

My aim for this workshop was to walk away with more confidence when using my camera so I could take beautiful images for my clients and my own business. I also wanted to connect with like-minded woman and have fun. I mean - a day away from routine is always a winner in my book when you have two small kiddos!



I can confirm that all three of my boxes were ticked - it was a phenomenal day which was jam-packed with tips, knowledge and every last detail was thought of.

On arrival we each had a little pack at our seats with two prints from Boft which were our own images (such a special touch) along with a beautifully printed manual of everything that would be covered that day.


Finally - after years of using my camera I can actually pick it up and know what I’m doing when it comes to aperture and shutter speed. I’ve been on a few courses before but just never got it.



The workshop included endless coffee and snacks (a must for me!), a delicious lunch where vegan options were made possible without any stress, Tam & Shante both sharing their knowledge on their expert subject, styling our own flatlay, taking portraits of each other and demo's.



And let's not forget the beautiful goodie bag we got which included amazing products - all listed at the bottom of this blog post as well as flash prizes throughout the day!
I won a Lunar camera strap which is stunning!



Shante & Tam organised Dee from Butterfly Tree Farm, Claire from Frosted Raspberry and Demi, June and Erinn from Tonian Closet - we were split into groups and got to see these talented ladies in action and got to use our cameras to shoot them in action so enabling us to practice our skills which we had just learnt - such a great idea.




It was such an awesome way to use what we had learnt that morning practically and actually put our newly learned skills to the test.

Shante & Tam were on hand throughout the day and offered constant support.  The Styling Shed was a beautiful venue and offered us so many different spaces for photography.  I can honestly say that it was a magical day where I felt appreciated, I felt confident, I felt creative and it was a safe space where each of us were able to demonstrate our own personal style. 




Thanks ladies - I can't wait for the next one!

====================================================================
Below the list of generous sponsors and partners:

Goodie bags & gifts at your table/served

The Frosted Raspberry (Camera cookie) - https://www.instagram.com/thefrostedraspberry/
Love Letters Stationery (Notebook and pencil)
https://www.instagram.com/lovelettersstationery/ 
Silistraw  and Kids Emporium (Silistraw) 
https://www.instagram.com/silistrawofficial/ and 
https://www.instagram.com/kidsemp/  
Sugar & Vice (Greeting Card) -  https://www.instagram.com/sugarandvicesa/    
Sugar Swan (Co
tton candy) - https://www.instagram.com/thesugarswan/
Tiger Lily Tots (Bag) - https://www.instagram.com/tigerlilytots/  
The Little Banner Company (
Banner) - https://www.instagram.com/claire_choudhry/
Woven Whimsy (Keyring) - https://www.instagram.com/wovenwhimsy/


Prizes & Challenges

Flatlayboards SA/ Backdropshop SA (Flatlay boards) - https://www.instagram.com/flatlayboards_sa/
Da Luca (Sparkling Rose) https://www.instagram.com/dalucaprosecco/
Hide and Sleek (Leather purse) - https://www.instagram.com/hideandsleek_za/
IMJ Studio (
Necklace) - https://www.instagram.com/imjewellerystudio/
Lunar Straps (Camera strap) https://www.instagram.com/lunar.straps/
Sugar and Vice (
Serving dish) https://www.instagram.com/sugarandvicesa/
Tiger Lily Tots (
Mobile) - 
 https://www.instagram.com/tigerlilytots/  
Vivolicious (
Yoga Leggings) - https://www.instagram.com/vivolicious_za/
Woven Whimsy (
Wall Hanging) - 
 https://www.instagram.com/wovenwhimsy/  

Demos  

Butterfly Tree Flowers (demo) - https://www.instagram.com/butterflytreeflowers/
The Frosted Raspberry (demo) - https://www.instagram.com/thefrostedraspberry/  

And special thanks to Demi, June and Erinn for their availability - 




The Gathered by Claire Podcast - Ep. 5 Tracking your cycle using the fertility awareness method & learning to trust your body with Rona Mirimi

20 May 2019



Oh I loved chatting to Rona Mirimi in this episode.  She is one of my heroes and is super passionate about trusting your body, learning to love your body and understanding how it all works.  We chat about the fertility awareness method, periods, hormones and contraception and how they affect our body and the way it works.

LINKS:

Rona's Website.
Rona on Facebook.
Rona on Instagram.




DIY Framed Flower Art | Mother's Day Craft Idea

10 May 2019



It's Mother's Day in South Africa on Sunday and I am not sure about you but a handmade item made with so much love and attention means the world to me.  It is so important to let your children pour their love into something to give you.  And my kids are always keen to do some arts and crafts.  This idea is something that is super affordable, gets them outside and looks so pretty hung up in your house.



All you need is:
Cardboard cut into frames
Pens/Crayons
Flowers/leaves/grass from the garden or a walk at the park
Contact Paper
Scissors

I cut the cardboard without the kids with my craft knife - just much easier, quicker and safer without little fingers wanting to help!

I then gave them the cardboard frames to colour in and do as they please.
Once they were finished, they picked some flowers - I pressed some overnight and others were fresh on the day.  It didn't make that much of a difference so don't worry if this is a last minute gift!  Just pick flowers without a thick stem.



We then put the gathered nature on the contact paper's sticky side and placed the frame over it.  I left enough contact paper below the frame to cover the front - So the contact paper is on both sides of the frame and keeping the flowers stuck.




You can trim any excess contact paper and you are done!  They look beautiful stuck onto glass.
Isn't nature amazing?

A simple, beautiful and lovingly put together craft that would make any mom feel special.




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