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How to help @GraceFactoryZA – The Grace Factory

I get asked quite often how people can help The Grace Factory (Mandela Day is also coming up soon) and recently by my colleague, Lee, so this one is for you Lee 🙂

  • collect wool for our beanie and booties project (we have people who can knit and we’ll give the wool to them)
  • knit beanies and booties yourself
  • collect second hand prem, baby & toddler clothes
  • host a nappy drive
  • ask people to bring donations for The Grace Factory instead of a gift for yourself when it’s your birthday – brave one 🙂
  • Help us pimp our ride by signing a 36 month debit order
  • sign up for my school and make us your beneficiary (you can have up to 3!!)
  • host a formula drive
  • help us cut blankets from fleecy material
  • tell your friends about us
  • help us find more children’s homes that we can support
  • volunteer of your time at one of our quarterly packing days (normally 3 hours)
  • volunteer of your time to drop off maternity packs

The Grace Factory Poster Emailer

Knitting jpeg

Nelson Mandela Beanies

Prem Packs

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Have a stressful job?

I’ve just returned to work after 4 months of maternity leave and I must be honest, it has been stressful.  I work in the financial world, so the pressure is always on and I am quite used to it by now. But stress is something I don’t think should be endured for long periods of time, without a stress reliever.  That’s why I find Adventure Boot Camp and Bach Rescue Remedy really helps me as a stress reliever.  I used to put Bach’s rescue remedy in my jungle juice when I breastfed my girls, just to take the edge off.

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A few weeks ago I was invited to a Bach event where we learnt a lot about Bach rescue remedy and were given a box of Bach Pastilles.  I keep the box of pastilles in my top drawer at work and whenever I feel a stressful situation or meeting coming along, I reach for my “magic sweets”.  I must be honest it REALLY helps me and I’m so grateful to my purple sweets in the cool yellow container!

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Here are some cool facts about Bach’s rescue remedy:

  1. What is Rescue Remedy?

The Bach RESCUE REMEDY® is a stress relief formula originally created in the 1930s by Dr. Edward Bach, and is made from flowers chosen for their specific healing qualities.This remedy can help reduce the negative emotions associated with stress. Bach RESCUE REMEDY® is a combination of five individual flower essences for emotional wellbeing and care for everyday life. Bach RESCUE REMEDY® has been used by generations and take comfort that a RESCUE® product is by your side when the need to get the most from their busy day. Keep cool, calm and collected with RESCUE Remedy® by your side. Today the Original BACH RESCUE REMEDY® has become the global leader in natural stress relief, used and trusted by millions of people around the world for generations.

  1. Bach’s Guide to Pregnancy

Planning for a new baby is a lot of work. In the rush it’s easy to forget to take proper care of the most important people in our babies’ lives – us. The clinically proven Bach RESCUE REMEDY® not only helps to make the labor experience easier and less traumatic, but can assist before birth, during the birth and post birth so that you get the best out of your pregnancy.

  1. Parent-Child Relationship

Parents and children have such a close connection that they usually need to take the same essences, says Certified Bach Flower Essence consultant Amy Finnegan. If one is emotionally off-balance, it will throw the other off too. So they need to be treated at the same time. She recommends that parents take flower essences recommended for children, and vice versa. For a breastfeeding mother, any essence she takes will pass automatically to her baby.

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FINALLY – an expo for working moms!!!

Can any of you working mums relate to the below?

“Somewhere in the far reaches of my memory I can recall the concept of Me time: A moment that involved me, a book and a cup of chamomile tea on the two-seater couch that just fitted in my tiny first apartment…  A breeze would gently blow the sweet sound of children’s voices in through the open window.  I would lie peacefully, my knees over the couch armrest, dreaming of the day when I would be married with children of my own…

Today, Me time is the three minutes I get on the loo to check Facebook before one of my sons bursts through the door to see what I am up to.  It’s my drive to work – a luxury many stay-at-home mums would give anything to have – even once a week.  Me time is the thirty minutes I get here and there when I just leave everything – dishes, dirty clothes, toys strewn into every nook and cranny.  Sometimes I just look at it all and say “no, not right now” and I escape to my writing.  Sometimes, me time is a coffee, uninterrupted, during work hours.  That is a dream too – I know that and I appreciate every creamy sip.”

So, what can you do, amidst the chaos that is your schedule, to create more Me time in your day? I have some suggestions for you below but I would really love to hear yours in the comments… because the truth is that we are all in this together:

  1. Spend some time thinking about what gives you joy. What is it that gives you that moment of exhale from everything else in your life that can sometimes all add up to feel like a never-ending focus on ‘work’? For me, it is The Grace Factory. When I focus on the needs of others, my silly problems really seem (and are) so small.
  2. Identify specific things you could outsource to some-one else in order to free up some time for you to get in that me time? I’ve recently outsourced the bottle feeding to Damien so that I can pop off to Bootcamp before getting ready for work.
  3. Give yourself permission and just go do what you love. It may not feel like it but, believe me, the time you sneak away from family and friends to spend on yourself will be paid back to them with dividends when a happier, healthier, more relaxed mom returns home to them after her Me-time

Now, I would love to hear from you… what do you do for Me time?  Do you ever get any at all? What do you do with the three minutes you have on the loo? We’re all in this together and your comments could help thousands of mums around the world find their own space to take the time they need…

If you found this article helpful, I would be honoured if you would share it with your friends via email or social media, sign up for the Working Mothers Expo VIP Waiting List and book your diaries for an event you will not want to miss.

See you soon!

The Working Mothers Expo, brought to you in partnership with MiWay Life, brings together everything a working mother needs under one roof.  Take a step back from your hectic schedule, make some time to reflect, hear an inspiring speaker, indulge in some retail therapy and connect with other working mothers. We would like to create some dedicated time in your schedule that is all about you.

It’s time to take a moment. Join our VIP Waiting List

If you would like to inquire about sponsoring or exhibiting at the event, please email us and we will send you all the details you need.

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Celebrate Earth Day with Cherubs

Earth Day is celebrated on April 22 to show support for the protection of the environment. Celebrate and look after our natural beautiful environment on Earth Day.

Cherubs have a range of products, to tenderly care for your precious baby, with the promise of a nurturing, greener environment.

Their products are as gentle on baby, as they are on our earth. All Cherubs Eco- products are flushable and biodegradable so that moms can rest assured that the right decision Hygiene and Classic (fragranced) variants.

Cherubs Eco-Care Wipes

Price: R30.99

These eco-friendly wipes can be used at every nappy change to help prevent nappy rash. The Cherubs Eco-Care Baby Wipes are gentle on delicate skin and the environment. Cherubs Baby Wipes are flushable and biodegradable. Cherubs Baby Wipes are Paraben and Fragrance free.

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Cherubs Classic Wipes

Price: R27.99

With extra moisture, these wipes provide gentle but thorough cleansing.

Cherubs Classic baby wipes helps prevent nappy rash. The softly textured wipes are perfect for all clean-ups.

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Stockist: Available at all leading retailers.

Online: www.cherubs.co.za

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What to buy when expecting a baby

Pampers

So many of my friends are having babies – woohoo! Tonight one of my besties (who is 21 weeks pregnant, expecting a boy) asked me to send her a list of things she needs to buy for her baby. Wait, hold on, she asked ME?  That means I’m regarded as an “expert” in this field (she says in a sarcastic voice), which I by no means am, but here goes, just for you my dear Cath 🙂

Essentials:

  • Nappies – I used Huggies size 0 and then pampers premium (from size 1). I am a HUGE pampers premium fan, they do NOT leak!
  • Wet wipes – you’ll need these for the next 3-4 years so buy as many as you can get your hands on, you can NEVER have enough of these
  • Everyday bum cream – if on a budget, Bennets is EXCELLENT. If not, Pure Beginnings is really nice
  • Nappy rash bum cream – Bepanthen, also helps for cracked nipples
  • Dummy – there’s no telling whether your child will want a dummy, but I do suggest you buy one just incase he/she needs one.  Not sure which brand to recommend as Erin only took an Avent dummy and Sienna only likes the Nuk dummy… Maybe buy 2 brands and then you can donate the one your child doesn’t like to The Grace Factory (hint, hint)
  • Sleep positioner – I have many of these incase one is in the washing or one is in the carry cot
  • Donut – I never had one when Erin was small, but have one now and find it so so handy, Sienna loves sleeping in her donut during the day
  • Blankets – Muslin blankets for summer and warm fleece blankets for winter.
  • Rescue remedy – a few drops for you, a few drops for baby 🙂
  • Baby monitor – I like the angel care one, the one with a camera is a bit of a gimmick, but the apnea monitor is a must have
  • Baby bin – angel care is a good one, but I see many brands around now
  • Baby bin refills – you need quite a few of these
  • Bumbo – I put both my girls in their bumbo from the age of 4 months. Buy a neutral colour so that you can use it for your next child
  • Sterimar – nasal spray, works really well for tiny blocked noses
  • Telament drops – These worked really well when Sienna was niggly between 8 and 10 weeks

Sterimar

Clothing

Many people may not agree with me, but I would recommend less is more. Your child does NOT need 50 newborn outfits! It is an absolute waste of money, as he/she will probably outgrow newborn in a month and there are only 30 days in a month. Think about that, let that sink in……

I suggest a couple of newborn vests and babygrows, like 10 max.  You can wash them every 2/3 days.  Only problem is if you have a baby who vomits a lot. I’ve also heard boys’ nappies leak easier than girls’ nappies? I’d suggest getting more 0-3 m clothes, one can always roll the sleeves up……

Remember to be season specific and work out when your baby will need winter clothes and when he/she will need summer clothes.

Prems ALWAYS need warmer clothes, unless they are born in a heat wave (like Sienna).

You’ll need 1 or 2 beanies.

Absolute waste of money

  • Shoes – your newborn does NOT need shoes, perhaps socks to keep toes warm, but NOT shoes
  • Duvet cover and Duvet inner – I never used mine, only used loose blankets
  • Baby towel – the hoody is always too big for the head and what’s wrong with using a normal towel?
  • Bottle warmer – my children have a harsh mother – room temp milk will have to do……
  • Bibs with waterproof part behind it, they don’t absorb the liquid

Breastfeeding

  • Really good electric breast pump – I don’t believe in breast confusion (not sure who made that story up) and I do believe in sanity. So as soon as you can pump a bit (let’s not pump 5 times a day already), do so. Get your husband to give your child and bottle and REST – you deserve it!
  • Breastfeeding pillow – I see all pro breast feeders have them, so guess they are necessary?
  • Breastfeeding shawl – person dependent, I never breastfed in public, so wouldn’t know…..
  • Breast pads – I had enough milk for 5 babies when Erin was born and these saved my life – Pigeon is a good brand
  • Good feeding bra – don’t want those gals to sag, now do we….

Bottle feeding

  • Bottles – don’t go out and buy 15 NUK bottles, your child might not feed easily from NUK.  Buy one or two of two or so brands. See if he/she likes it, then send Hubby to go buy more of the one the baby likes.  I think 6-8 bottles is enough to see you through.
  • Steriliser – will probably be the same as your brand of bottles
  • Bottle brush
  • Formula – buy small tin and then see if your baby is okay with that formula, then send hubby (again, sorry hubby) to go buy a big tin
  • Bibs – about 20 as you use those often and they do get wet easily

Anyone else remember what you simply couldn’t live without and what was a complete waste of money??

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My St Patrick’s day 30th

It’s no secret that I LOVE planning parties. So when my 30th birthday was around the corner I decided to plan my own party (sad I know, but I secretly LOVED it).  My birthday is always on St Patricks day, 17 March, and for as long as I can remember, I’ve ALWAYS wanted a St Patricks day party.

We had it at our house with 40 guests on Friday, 18 March and we all really had a ball! I’m not a big drinker so just had Guiness (of course), beers, wine and colddrink. My dad made awesome Mojitos for us in glass bottles, they tasted divine! I ordered a green two tier vanilla and chocolate cake from Alta and had platters of snacks from Woolies. I hired tables etc from silver spoon function hire, who are very reasonably priced and their service was great too! Most of the vases used were from recycled glasses that I’ve been collecting for months and 90% of the flowers came from my garden 🙂

Besides Damien buying me a beautiful Tanzanite ring for my birthday, he REALLY surprised me by doing a short but amazingly sincere speech. It was such a fun evening with my closest friends and family, loved it!

Cake Sienna and Oumie and Amy Speech Table

 

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