Meet the Mommy [Week 10] – Venean

A while back I was thinking about how all the moms I know are different in many ways – be it their parenting style, or whether they go to work, stay at home, or work from home. Some have one little person, while others have three or four. Some of our babies began their journey inside us learning the sound of our heartbeat, whilst some began in another only to meet us later and hold our hearts forever. Whatever the differences in how we became moms, how we parent… Being a mom, plus ALL that comes with it, is what we all have in common.

And that’s how I came up with the idea for this feature – a short interview with regular moms like you and I (short, because for moms the time struggle is real yo!). Here we’ll get to “meet” different mommies, and find out a little about them.

This week we meet mommy blogger Venean. We haven’t had a chance to meet yet, but we’ve been following each other’s blogs for a while now, and it’s lovely featuring her here today.

1. Please tell us a little – or a lot (we like details) – about yourself?

So weird to talk about myself; when Charlene asked me if I would like to be featured, I was first flattered and then scared. How do people write about themselves, I thought? Okay, so I am a mom. That word defines a lot of things about me, but is not completely inclusive. I work a full time job, am a wife to a gamer husband. My two blessings that make me a mother are Emilie who has just turned 11, and Daniel my 11 month old baby. When I am not moming, working and wife-ing I try to Vee. By this I mean just be a person without – I do this by blogging about all the things I am to maintain my reflective-ness. I watch a lot of series and read too much. I am pretty outgoing, although in winter time I hibernate. A LOT.

Meet Mommy Venean

2. What’s the one thing you find most challenging about being a working / stay at home mom?

This is a no-brainer for me. BALANCE! Finding a balance is so hard – and then when you find your groove, Murphy throws extra work at you, a function, a sickness, or a sick child, and you have to start finding that balance from scratch again. Also just carving out time for me and things that I like doing for myself. It’s sometimes so difficult to make time for you when everyone else’s needs seem so much more important. They aren’t… But then to remember that.

3. We all know there are challenging moments – moments which call for chocolate, or wine (or both), to soothe those mommy nerves… Forgetting all that though, what is your absolute favourite thing about being a mom?

Living my life over. Seeing things through the eyes of my children, when they see things for the very first time. It’s amazing, and such a blessing.

Meet Mommy Venean

4. From the experience you’ve gained since becoming a parent, what is a pretty cool piece of advice you would give to other moms?

Forgive yourself! I have spent so much time beating myself up for not being good enough, or not doing enough, when in actual fact the only one expecting me to be a superhero mom was me (and my kids think I am a superhero – but according to their standards, not mine).

5. Share with us one of the funniest moments you’ve had since becoming a mom.

Funny mom moments are so difficult because most of them are only funny afterward! And honestly so embarrassing. But I am at a stage in my life when I really do enjoy my children whether it be from the know-it-all preteen Emilie, or from my newly discovering toddler. Ian and I are always laughing at things they are discovering and doing. We try to be really relaxed.

Meet Mommy Venean

6. Please tell us where we can find you online

Blog: In The Meantime

Thank you Venean for giving us a glimpse into your life as a mom. 🙂

Be Safe with #CarseatFullstop: How to choose a car seat


Purchasing a car seat is the single most important decision you will make as a parent. In South Africa, it is illegal to travel in a car with a child under 3 years old not strapped into an approved child safety seat. However, every child under 1.5m tall (between 10 and 12 years old) needs some form of support to travel safely in a car.

International leaders in the development, manufacture and testing of car seats, BeSafe collaborates extensively with research institutes, organisations promoting road safety and traffic related medical institutions worldwide. BeSafe’s South African team, Born Fabulous, has teamed up with national car seat awareness initiative #CarseatFullstop and NPO Wheel Well, to share as much information, awareness and best practice for car seats and car seat safety specifically with the South African market.


How to choose the right car seat for your child

There are 3 stages of car seat: the infant, toddler and child booster seat.

Your infant seat should be used from birth up to 13kgs, or until their head is more than 1 inch below the top of the headrest, when the headrest is in its highest position.

Infant seats should be a “bucket” shape to hold your baby securely. They should have a 5-point harness, several recline positions, and should only ever be installed facing backwards. Never turn your baby forward facing before they are 13kgs and at the very least 1 years old.


The carry handle of an infant seat has a secondary purpose? When installing the seat, pull the handle towards the backrest of the seat to create a “roll cage” effect.

Toddler car seats should be used from the time your child is 13kgs until they are at least 18kgs, or the weight specified with the “Y” on the orange sticker on the side of the seat. It will have a 5-point harness, that should be easily adjustable with the headrest to just below the shoulders on a rear-facing child and just above the shoulders on a forward-facing child.

There are two kinds of toddler car seats, the convertible seat that allows forward- and rear-facing and the exclusively rear-facing car seat. For safety, your child should rear-face for as long as possible, ideally until at least the age of 4 years old.

Rear-facing car seats are slowly becoming available in South Africa, most commonly the seats that allow rear-facing to 18kgs (around 3-4 years old). The orange sticker on the side of the seat will clearly indicate until what weight the seat can face rearwards. Always check this.


Rear-facing car seats are safer for developing bodies than forward facing car seats. There are 2 car seats in South Africa that allow for rear-facing up to 25kgs, which is between 4 and 6 years old.

The child booster seat is used between 15 and 36kgs (4 – 10/12 years old) and is forward facing. You should only ever purchase a high-backed booster seat. The back rest should provide “wings” that offer side impact protection, protecting the child’s head and neck. The high-back booster will have guides to direct your car’s three-point seatbelt through. This positions the seat belt safely over the strongest points on your child – the shoulder, chest and upper thighs – as opposed to their vulnerable neck and stomach.


A car seat belt is designed to be used for an adult male over 1.5m tall. Its job is to distribute the force of a crash to the body’s strongest points – mid-shoulder, chest and pelvis. On a child, a seat belt sits over their 2 most vulnerable points – the neck/throat and the belly area containing all the vital organs. The seat belt becomes a definitive danger to a child who isn’t using a booster seat to protect them from it.

There are a few tips that are relevant no matter which stage your child is in.

1. Consult your car’s manual. Check if your car has ISOFIX anchors. An ISOFIX car seat cannot be used without it. Check where the recommended positioning of a car seat is in your car.

2. Try your child in the seat in your car before making your purchase. Check if your seat belt is long enough to install the seat correctly. With rear-facing seats, ensure that there is sufficient space between the seat and the front seat to allow safe installation. Check where the belts sit when threaded through the booster seat guides on your child.

3. Always follow the installation instructions in the car seat manual. An incorrectly installed car seat is NOT safe.

4. The car seat harness should not have any twists when fastened. It is only tight enough when you cannot pinch the fabric of the belt between your fingers at all.

5. Your child should never wear a bulky jacket, jersey or blanket under the harness. Place the blanket or jacket over the secured harness.

6. Do not use any belt positioner, cover, insert, pillow or other product that is not sold with the seat by the manufacturer. If it hasn’t been crash tested with the seat your child is in, it could stop the seat from doing its job.


This post was written by Mandy Lee Miller | Creator & Director of #CarseatFullstop

It’s (Cake) Party time with Play-Doh Kitchen Creations

Last week Zee received a (in her words) “very cute, and very fun” gift from Hasbro – the Play-Doh Cake Party play set from their new Kitchen Creations range. She’s been baking up a storm ever since, creating all kinds of cute – and some curious looking – sweet treats. 😋

Play-Doh Zee

She was really excited to tell everyone about her latest Play-Doh favourite, which means (of course) that mommy was reeled in for a new video. 😊

It’s clear that all junior chefs like Zee will be inspired with the Play-Doh Kitchen Creations range, where the main ingredient is creativity.

The range includes a variety of playsets and tools to inspire storytelling, imaginative thinking, creative play, and fun. These are just a few of my Zee’s faves from the adorable Kitchen Creations range:

~ Play-Doh Breakfast Bakery

Play-Doh breakfast

Little chefs can create a delightful breakfast with the waffle maker which shapes both square and round waffles, imaginary toast, pretend pancakes, lots of make-believe toppings, and more.

~ Play-Doh Burger Barbeque

Play-Doh burger bbq

Fire up the make-believe grill with the Burger Barbeque set. Choose from five Play-Doh colours and creative tools to roll, cut, squeeze, shape and mould fun hamburgers, hot dogs, buns, and toppings.

~ Play-Doh Magical Oven

Play-Doh magical oven

The oven features real lights and sounds. The lights change from white to red as the pretend food finishes cooking; and listen out for the ‘ding’ sound when it’s done.

~ Play-Doh Frost ‘n Fun Cakes

Play-Doh Frost

Cover cake creations in fluffy frosting with the frosting tool, which comes with three tips for a variety of shapes. Top it all off with make-believe candies, silly fruits, and other fun toppings with the half-moulds.

Play-Doh kitchen creations

A childhood staple since its introduction in 1956, Play-Doh has captivated the imaginations of children across the globe, and it continues to do so with the Kitchen Creations range. It is the #1 reusable modeling compound, with more than 500 million cans produced each year. As well as being plain fun for kids, there are many educational and developmental benefits. Play-Doh has been shown to:

~ enhance fine motor skill
~ improve pre-writing skills
~ assist with literacy and numeracy development
~ stimulate creativity and imagination
~ have a calming effect with regards to focus and concentration
~ develop hand-eye coordination
~ increase curiosity and knowledge
~ encourage social skills

Cute, fun, and educational too? Go on, open up a can of imagination today. 🙂


Two Tiny Hands