christmas together, family christmas

Week’s Favorites, 25th of December 2016

This week was filled with family times, fun outings and tasty food. Yes, ’tis the season.

Christmas is coming and we are getting ready, buying the gifts for those we love and planning the celebration.

My bestie from LA, Jenn, is still here and we decided to go out for a cup of coffee and a small lunch after Christmas shopping. I know it’s only a week left and most people already have all the gifts ready and wrapped, but not us. I guess one of my New Year Resolutions will be to do everything well in advance.

So I bought some toys for Nika with my first paycheck money (proud mommy moment) and we decided to check out this Italian Place called Piatto.

Favorite Bread Basket

I ordered an Iced Latte and avocado rolls, and while we were waiting, they brought us some of their amazingly yummy bread! If you are as much of a breadoholic as I am, you will definitely love it!

basket bread, italian restaurant

avocado rolls, japanese cuisine

iced latte, italian restaurant

They also have a coloring booklet for kiddies. Isn’t it cute?

Favorite Bargain

We started decorating our place as well. We bought a cute small Christmas Tree for only R130, some ornaments and Christmas lights that came down to R150 from a China Shop, made some DIY decorations as well, and by Wednesday evening our place looked a lot like Christmas.

christmas tree, china shop, christmas ornaments

christmas tinsel, china shop, christmas lights

Favorite Father Christmas

Jen and I were still on the quest for gifts and we made it to the Glen Shopping Center. While we were browsing and going from one shop to another, we saw Father Christmas set with such an adorable grandpa! We haven’t had Nika’s Christmas photo taken yet, so I thought it was the time.

I put her on Santa’s lap only to hear her crying! She was scared of Father Christmas! They took a couple of photos but Nika’s eyes were red and we decided to come back a bit later.

When we came back, she was still a bit cautious so I decided to sit with her next to Santa Claus. I don’t know why everyone says I’m the one that looks scared on the photo.

christmas, father christmas, santa clause

Favorite Rides

While we were trying to get Nika’s mind of the cutest but apparently scary Santa, we decided to put her on one of those cars on the top floor and she loved it!

fun rides

Favorite Egg Noodles

On a Thursday night Konrad invited us to an asian restaurant Matsuya.

What I love about it is that they cook right in front of your eyes and that they have some nice vegetarian options.

I ordered spring rolls which were quite tasty and egg noodles with veggies. They didn’t disappoint me.

asian spring roll at matsuyaasian noodles with veggies

Favorite Burger with Fries

Here comes Friday, the day of the big show that we’ve been waiting for.

Konrad’s mom took us to Roco Mamas for some burger and fries.

Their veggie mushroom burger that comes with their house mayo is divine, and their famous fries are the best I’ve had!

vegetarian mushroom burger, fries

Favorite Show

On the Friday evening Konrad’s mom picked up Jen and myself and we went to see Moscow Circus.

monte casino, johannesburgTo be honest, I’ve never been a fan of circuses because I’m against keeping animals in captivity and torturing them so that they learn how to ride a bike and jump through the fire rings.

The difference here was that they didn’t have any animals and it was pure acrobatics and unreal performances.

There were clowns that were actually funny, an unbelievably flexible guy, jogglers, motorbike riders, balancers, and much more.

moscow circus, johannesburg

I haven’t had that much fun in ages and I’m so glad I went.

It lasted for about 3 hours but it felt like it went by so quickly. So if you are considering whether to go or not, I’d definitely recommend.

moscow circus, johannesburg

Favorite Nature Time

Saturday morning we decided to go spend some time in nature.

Boskop Dam, the place we were going, was an hour and a half away from our place. We packed some food and a bunch of different clothes, because the weather was pretty unpredictable.

We met our friends on the way there and finally arrived. We were lucky enough to get a full big gazeebo with water and a braai.

We ate, went for a boat ride, Jen even tried to catch some fish! Nika and I took a nap under the tree, played some toys, went for a walk and had some nice summer time in nature.

boskop dam, southern sky, south africaboskop dam, southern sky, south africaboskop dam, friends, south africaboskop dam, family, south africa

Our Big Christmas

We placed the tree in the middle of our living room on Saturday evening, put all the presents and went to bed.

christmas, christmas tree, christmas decor, christmas presents

Christmas came early and Nika was the first one to open her presents. She obviously had the most presents but it seemed like she was more interested in the boxes, rather than presents themselves.

christmas, christmas presents, christmas for babies

Konrad’s parents invited us for a Christmas lunch to a restaurant. Most of the family, the ones that could come, joined us and we had a nice rainy Christmas together.

christmas together, family christmaschristmas together, family christmas

Thank you, Lord, for another beautiful and fun week.

elgro lodge

Week’s Favorites, 18th of December 2016

Wow, this first week since Jen arrived flew by like one day. It’s already Sunday and we are relaxing out in the Elgro Lodge all together.

We left on Saturday, around 1 and arrived there by 3pm. Found our lodge, wetted our feet in the pool and went unpacking. Nika LOVES the water and it was hard to get her out of there once she felt the joy of drops on her legs.

Continue reading “Week’s Favorites, 18th of December 2016”

finely ground oats

Best Oatmeal Face Wash for Radiant Skin

Hi Ladies! Do you love oatmeal as much as I do? Today’s post about making your own Oatmeal Face Wash!

Have you ever looked at yourself early in the morning in the mirror only to see that your face is not as fresh and radiant as it used to be even after a good 8 hour long rest?

I know I have, especially since I don’t remember when I had my last good 8 hour sleep, lol.

So today I’m going to share with you a great recipe for an all natural face wash that will rewind the years and remove the stress off your face.

Continue reading “Best Oatmeal Face Wash for Radiant Skin”

vegetable fritters

Vegetable Fritters

I don’t know if you can relate, but I have my favorite set of meals and I normally eat them day after day.

At times, though, I get tired of buckwheat and green salad and want to experiment and try new dishes. Thankfully, vegetarian diet is filled with the options! Anything from super healthy to not so healthy for a cheat day, of course 🙂

Today I’ll show you a super easy and quick recipe for vegetable fritters.

Continue reading “Vegetable Fritters”

Nika’s 1st Birthday Preparations

I can’t believe how quickly this first year flew by. It feels like only yesterday I felt that pain and had no clue if that was labor or something else. I was so unexperienced, knew absolutely nothing about babies, even though I went through some pregnancy magazines, took a prenatal class and went on a Johnson & Johnson Baby Sense seminar that Konrad’s mom booked for us.

Only yesterday Nika was a tiny baby, and now she’s changing into a beautiful toddler.

The closer was the date, the more was going through my mind. I wanted to make that day extra special, because even though Nika wouldn’t remember a thing about the celebration, she would remember her feelings.

Nika’s 1st Birthday Preparations

We started planning a month in advance, but haven’t gotten to actually buying stuff and decorating until one week before her birthday. I felt overwhelmed by the amount of ideas, and didn’t know where to start.

T – 30 days

I went through some themes and chose Alice in Wonderland and a Bumble Bee themed party, which I then showed to Konrad to choose from. He didn’t like either.

Not a problem, we still have almost a month!

T – 7 days

The time was going away so quickly and we haven’t come up with the theme yet! Only 7 days to go! I kept going through ideas – Travel Party? Around the World Party? Airplane Party? Paris themed Party?

I felt we needed to come up with something related to the world because when I was still pregnant with Nika, we flew from the US to Russia to South Africa and by age one she spent a summer in Russia and flew through Amsterdam and Paris, not talking about how much we’ve traveled across South Africa. To me, Nika is a definition of a Travel Baby, so I wanted to show it with her birthday theme.

I kept going through Pinterest, Google, but couldn’t find something that would be gentle yet fun and unique for our little precious girl. Lying on the couch I was so tired of my search and was getting more and more nervous. I turned and looked at the center of our living room where all Nika’s toys were and saw IT. I saw a plastic Hot Air Balloon that was a part of a present from my parents back when Nika was still a baby. It was part of her mobile that she now used as a toy.

Lightbulb Moment!

Her Birthday Theme would be Hot Air Balloon! Super gentle, makes everyone think of traveling and fun!

Now another thing was going through my mind. I chose the theme, but what about colors? Should it be Vintage? or something bright? I started going through Birthday Invitations and came across a beautiful gold and pink one. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that combo before but it looked so right!

I finally decided on having a pink and gold hot air balloon themed party!

Step 1. Invitation

Of course, my first thing was to get the invitation ready.

This is what I came up with

Step 1 – check; I was proud of myself.

Still there was so much more to do!

T – 6 days

Since I chose pink and gold colored theme, my mother-in-law and I went to a China shop and got some lanterns, tissue paper, ribbons, and I started decorating our apartment.

First thing first, I needed to make a Number 1 out of Tissue Paper. Flower after flower after flower. Didn’t think it would be that time consuming!

T – 5 days

I made the Number 1 out of Tissue paper. Whoohoo! Good girl

tissue paper number

T – 4 days

Now I needed to make hot air balloons. We bought 3 big lanterns, 2 medium and 20 small ones. Now I needed to make a little basket, put a tissue flower in there and make a fishnet around it so the lantern looks like a hot air balloon.

hot air balloon

The process took me all the last days! Didn’t think it would take me this long but everything was done in time

T – 1 day

I made a Wish Flower for Nika. At the time of the celebration I want the guests to pass around this flower and say their wishes to Nika.

She enjoyed shaking it 🙂

Wish Flower

The balloons were done

fullsizerender

And I hung them in her room for now

hot air ballons

The Night Before Nika’s Birthday

I hung up all the hot air balloons, blew up balloons and we put her present in the middle. Couldn’t wait to see her face.

hot air balloons, 1st birthday

I hung the Tissue Number on the curtain rail and little hot air balloons around it. I also clipped big tissue flowers to the curtain

Processed with Snapseed.

Everything was ready. Were just waiting for Nika to wake up!

 

baby plant, seed, growing, become better

An Easy 11 Step Guide to Becoming Better in 30 days

Often times we compare ourselves to others, we want to be like someone else, want to be better than that neighbor girl, when we should in fact work on ourselves and become better than we were yesterday. I think life is a journey to a better self, so why don’t we do these simple practices do change ourselves and become better.

The Guide to Lead you to a Better You:

1. Choose a difficult book that you wanted to read for ages but have never gotten to, and read it, cover to cover, during these 30 days. If you have a trouble finding a good book, check out this list of 30 books everyone must read.

2. Learn something new every day. The name of a flower, the capital of a country, the name of the breed of dog that you like, the name of the tree outside of your house, a new word from a dictionary, etc. Here is a list of websites that can help.  This  Go through everything you learnt that day before you go to bed.

3. Write down 5 to 10 things that you are grateful for every day.

4. Stop complaining for the next 30 days. Negative thoughts lead to negative results. Stop yourself every time you want to complain.

5. During next 30 days write down everything that comes to mind when you wake up. It’s called “morning pages”, and if you want to learn a bit more about the technique, check out this site

6. Spend at least 1 hour a day looking for an additional source of income.

7. Exercise regularly, get that sexy body you always wanted! For the start, check this routine to burn calories.

8. These coming 30 days try to focus on the thoughts, words and images of who you want to be and what you want to achieve. Visualize the life you want to live, the person you want to become.

9. Take a 20 minute slow walk every day, focus on the now, don’t rush, don’t think about anything, just be in the moment.

10. Make at least one person smile each day.

11. Help at least one person each day.

Do these simple practices and see your life change.

Good luck on the path to a better you!

valentines day nails

15 Best Romantic Valentine’s Day Nail Designs

I was recently searching for cool Valentine’s Day Nail Design Ideas and came across some really beautiful ones and plenty of not so much, so I decided to make a list of the 15 Best Romantic Valentine’s Day Nail Designs for you. Some of these look pretty easy to do yourself, some require a professional.

Treat yourself and surprise your man with this awesome Nail Art for your pretty fingers on the most romantic day of the year.

Enjoy!

15 Best Romantic Valentine’s Day Nail Designs

 

valentines day nails

Image Source

valentines day nails

Image Source

valentines days nails

Image Source

valentines day nails

Image Source

valentines day nails

Image Source

valentines day nail

Image Source

valentines day nails

Image Source

valentines day nails

Image Source

valentines day nails

Image Source

valentines day nails

Image Source

valentines day nails

Image Source

valentines day nails

Image Source

valentines day nails

Image Source

valentines day nails

Image Source

valentines day nails

Image Source

 

Baby Activities

I have recently become a mom. It is such a wonderful, fulfilling, exhausting but yet rewarding experience that I truly enjoy. When my daughter was born I knew very little about babies, and even less about what to do with them. The more time I spend with her, the more I learn. There are plenty of baby games out there on the internet that you can easily find, but I would like to share with you my favorite infant games and baby activities for a baby development. You do not need to buy anything, you can easily find everything that you need at your place.

I am not a pediatrician so before you try any of these baby learning games, please consult with your doctor.

I know every mom wants her little precious angel to develop well that’s why I came up with this list of easy and fun games and activities for babies.

I hope you will find something that you and your little one will enjoy doing together!

1. Massage

My top favorite thing is a massage that I give to my little one every day after her bath. It’s such a great bonding experience, we look at each others eyes smiling. I just love it.

Someone (can’t remember who it was as I practically didn’t sleep those days. Midwife? Nurse? Pediatrician? one of those) told me in the hospital that I shouldn’t use baby creams and lotions in the first days of my baby’s life and let her skin produce it’s natural oils.

When she was about a month old, I started giving her a nice gentle massage, starting from her little toes, soles of her tiny feet, all the way up to her cheeks. She was suffering from winds that’s why I massaged her stomach in the clockwise motion, and after that giving her a “Waterfall belly massage” (starting from her lower ribs down alternating my hands in a so-called “waterfall motion”).

2. Aroma Balls

I love this exercise because every time we do it my little one gives me the funniest array of facial expressions.

Basically what you do is get about 5 cotton balls and put different every day scented products like toothpaste, perfume, lotions, creams, gels on them. Then you bring the balls close to your baby’s face without touching them one by one. Check your baby’s reactions to different products, see what they enjoy smelling and what they don’t like.

3. Touch That

I give my baby different items to touch, like a silky scarf, a furry toy, a plastic rattle, a soft ball, etc. When she touches and looks at the item, I tell her what it is, just talk to her. Babies learn about this world through their touch.

4. Follow Me

When she was about a month or so old, we started showing her a rattle and moving it left to right, up and down, closer to her face and further away from it. She wasn’t following it at first but with the time developed that skill.

5. Tummy Time

This exercise helps babies develop their neck, stomach and back muscles. We do this activity a lot in different variations. She could either just lie on me and look around, or I’ll put her on a bed and place a bright object just out of her reach for her to try and move herself closer to it.

6. Roll Over

After her tummy time exercise I will help her roll over on her back and back to her tummy. She really enjoys this activity and once was able to roll over to her back herself!

7. Dance With Me

I turn some classical music for her brain development, or some nice upbeat music and dance with her in my arms. I feel like this is another great bonding experience and we both love dancing together.

There are plenty more exercises but these are so far our favorite ones. I think the most important thing is to communicate with your baby. See what they like and what they don’t like. Enjoy spending this time together because babies grow up so quick! Just breathe in and savor every moment you can with each other.