After missing the last few #JoziMeetup events, I was really keen on attending this year. When Heather of SA Mom Blogs (the awesome organizer of the event) announced the date, I was so excited, and I told my husband right away to keep that weekend clear. With us not living in Johannesburg, we need to plan ahead for events like these.


I was so happy to hear that fellow “long distance” mommy blogger, Carly would also be attending (she lives an hour further from Jozi than I do!). We bought our tickets on the same day, and being “meetup newbies”, were both glad we’d have someone we know there – even if it is only through our blogs and the occasional WhatsApp chat.

The Venue

The venue for the meetup was Cafe Zing at The Regent Hotel in Sandton. Cafe Zing is a perfect place for events like this. It’s smart, while still being casual and comfortable. The food was pretty good too.

#JoziMeetup food

The Speakers

#JoziMeetup - speakers

First up on the agenda was daddy blogger Mike Said, who told us about his trip around SA with his daughter, and how eighty brands had pitched in to make it a reality. He joked and made us laugh, and his advice on building your brand and being true to it was solid.

Samantha Lockhart from Matsimela Home Spa was down sick, so she didn’t make it, but we were still in for a treat – three therapists were there to pamper us with amazing hand massages, and a gorgeous gift in our goody bags. Note how pleased I look in the pic, about the massage. 🙈

#JoziMeetup - matsimela

Nicole Sparrow from Autograph PR gave us extremely helpful insight into what brands like (responsibile writing, for one) and what they definitely don’t (trashing them online is unnecessary and just plain ugly).

Wanda Ambrosini and Krystle told us about Prima Baby. Having launched in South Africa in March 2017, it’s no wonder that Wanda referred to it as their very new baby. Krystle showed us some of the products, including a stroller which weighs only 3.6kg and is extremely easy to close up and lift up into your car boot – I just wanted to know where this awesomeness was when Zee was a baby, and I had to fight with that heavy pram! 😀

Veruska D’Onofrio was there to speak on behalf of Prima Toys. Her presentation centered on play, and the many benefits which come from our kids having the freedom to play. She then handed over to Sashalee Findlay who told us about the toys they had displayed, and then they gave some away – YAY! I was super excited to answer two of the very difficult (heehee.. not really, one was Disney related, and the other was a riddle I eventually I remembered seeing on a kids jokes website I’d once looked up for Zee) questions first, and win two beautiful Disney Princess dolls for my girl. 🙂

#JoziMeetup Prima Toys

The final speaker was Jeanette Wentzel from Whisky Of The Week. It was so nice meeting Jeanette, as we’d been chatting quite a bit on Twitter recently. She’s just as lovely in person, and she really knows whisky. 😉 She told us about local whisky brand, Bain’s, and took us through a whisky tasting. I’m not a whisky drinker, so while I didn’t love the taste, I did love how it smelled.


Those Goody Bags… Wow!

I don’t know how Heather did it, but on top of arranging a fantastic event, she also got us the most incredible goody bags! As soon as we sat down, I noticed two familiar looking clear boxes at the top on the bag – a Tangle Teezer and Invisibobbles… Yes!!! 😀 I’d been wanting to get a Tangle Teezer so bad, and I was thrilled at how brilliantly it worked! The bag was filled with so many lovely products, like eye makeup, skincare, and kids shampoo. I’ll tell you about them as I try them.

#JoziMeetup - tangleteezer invisibobbles

I had a great time at the #JoziMeetup. It was so good meeting people with whom I interact so often online, in reality. And I’m very grateful for all we learned from the speakers. Definitely a most productive day.

And finally, a pic at our table. Thank you for the pic Laura. 🙂

#JoziMeetup - bloggers
Image: SA Mom Blogs (Facebook)

Zeeview | Sanex Dermo Kids

Zeeview - Sanex

Today Zee is letting us know what she thinks of this beauty. No, not the Panda & Frost mermaid – she’s gorgeous, but that’s for another post. 🙂 Today, we’re talking about Sanex Dermo Kids Bodywash & Foam Bath.

This is what Sanex claims about the product:

Specially developed for children and approved by paediatricians, this hypoallergenic bodywash and foam bath has been formulated to gently clean without drying your child’s delicate skin. Suitable for head to toe wash.

Here are Zee’s thoughts on the product:

1. What do you think of the bottle?

I like how kids is written on the bottle in bright colours. It makes the bottle look really pretty.

2. How does it smell?

It smells like candy. It really does. Mmmm…

3. How does it feel on your skin?

It feels so gentle, and soft, and lovely on my skin.

4. How does your skin feel after bath time?

When I touch my skin it feels really soft and smooth. I feel refreshed and super clean!

5. Would you like to tell your friends about this body wash?

Yes I would. And I’d tell them because after my bath I feel so fresh and I think maybe they would like to feel fresh too. And I think they would love how sweet it smells.

6. Would you like mommy to buy this for you again?


7. How many smiley faces do you give Sanex Dermo Kids Bodywash & Foam Bath?

Ten thousand and two. 😀😂

8. Okay, but out of five, how many smiley faces would you give it?

Five out of five!

So there you have it moms, one Zee-approved kids bodywash/foam bath you definitely want to get your hands on next time you’re out toiletries shopping.

Mom verdict: I’m really happy with this product. Only a very small amount of the bodywash is required to get my little person super clean, as she put it. It’s gentle on her skin, forms a lovely lather, and smells amazing (I actually love the scent). I’ll be heading out for more.

Sanex Dermo Kids Bodywash & Foam Bath (500ml) retails for +/-R56,00 (Clicks/Dischem)



Motherhood – challenging, terrifying, exhausting… and a privilege I’m eternally grateful for

Motherhood - Zee and I

It’s hard to believe that it’s been almost eight years since that night… I’d showered, waddled back into the bedroom, gotten into cozy pjs, and penguin rolled onto the bed. A little while later (around 9pm) I told Shawn I was pretty sure I’d just wee’d myself! Turns out that was my water breaking, four weeks earlier than expected. 😯

A quick call to my mom, because you know, that’s what you do when you don’t know what to do, and we were off to the hospital as she advised. We walked in, smiling and giggling, nervous and excited that we were going to be parents almost a month sooner than we’d thought.

Embrace - bump 8 months

I remember dismissing the wheelchair I was offered as we walked in, and laughing a few minutes later when the sister (looking at the monitor) told me that I’d just had a contraction. I was like, why do people make such a fuss – contractions aren’t that bad, this is going to be a breeze. I was pretty pleased with myself for deciding right at the beginning of my pregnancy that I wanted a natural birth, and no drugs. 

A few hours in though, and I was like, WHAT IN THE WORLD IS HAPPENING??? I was alone, as they’d told Shawn to go home and get some rest, because the baby would probably only come by midday the next day. They said I should rest in my room, but I was feeling pain and discomfort like never before in my life, and I was pacing the hall in that ward. I don’t know if the hospital gown had me exposed, and I didn’t care. They did another check, and things were progressing faster than they’d predicted!

Its almost as if my mom, and my friend Jules (who, like my parents, was living two hours away at the time) both sensed this would happen, because instead of coming through the next morning, my parents and my brother decided to drive to the hospital then, as did Jules. They even passed each other on the road, and arrived there at the same time.

It was around midnight, and mom and Jules found me sitting in a bathtub, attempting to – unsuccessfully – soak away some of the pain. After accepting that the bath wasn’t helping, it was back to pacing – this time with great company, complete with comforting back rubs and assurances of “you’re doing great” – until I was taken to the delivery room. Shawn, Mommy, and Jules took shifts in twos at my bedside.

Seven hours after my water broke, there she was – the tiniest, most perfect being I’d ever set my eyes on. I had only just met her, and my heart was hers. In that instant, the last few hours of pain, tears, and screams were forgotten. And all that mattered was that beautiful baby in my arms.

Motherhood - Zee day one

I had loved her from the moment I found out she existed. I fell in love even more, the first time we confirmed her presence at the gynecologist appointment, and we saw the tiny bean on the screen and heard that strong heartbeat. As my belly grew, so did my love for her. And now, seeing her right in front of me, holding her in my arms, I felt a surge of emotions I’d never experienced before. A love entirely different from anything I’d ever felt.

Motherhood - mitten

Motherhood, to me, is the most wonderful adventure you could ever embark on – there’s something to learn almost everyday, its challenging, terrifying some days, exhausting most days, and more than all that it’s BEAUTIFUL, and completely fulfilling. From the second I looked at that little face, something… or maybe, everything inside me changed. I never knew I could protect so fiercely, be so selfless, cry so much at the mere sight of my three year old stepping onto a stage for the first time. Vanity went out the window – actually being in photos with my little person (something she and I would look at, and treasure together years later), became more important than how bad of a hair day I was having, or how chubby my face looked.

Motherhood - mommy and Zee

Motherhood - mommy and Zee

The start of it all – labour, delivery, and those first nights alone in hospital – is ten times more terrifying. Having the ones closest to me there to share in the time this life-changing adventure began (and there for me ever since), added to just how special it was, and added a sense of calm. Not everyone has that kind of support – a loving husband by your side while you scream like a banshee, and keep throwing off the sheet he repeatedly covers you with, so as to provide you with some semblance of dignity. Parents, siblings, friends, willing to drive two hours in the dark of night just to be with you, and remind you that you’re so loved, and that you’re doing a great job. A mom, who due to an unexpected trauma right after your baby is born (if you missed the post, you can read it here), has to hold your heavy self and help you walk to the bathroom, and then bathe you as well. All this support, which to be honest, I hadn’t even realised I would so greatly need.

Motherhood - Zee day one

I am infinitely grateful for this privilege of being a mom. And I will always be thankful for all the care and support I was fortunate enough to receive. I say fortunate because as I mentioned before, there are those who don’t have this support. It is because of this reality that Cape Town Embrace is asking women around South Africa to spend an hour with new moms at their local public hospitals on 14 May, to offer support and encouragement as they set out on this new journey of motherhood. Thinking back to that time almost eight years ago, I can say with certainty that it is definitely needed at this huge time in one’s life, and it IS appreciated. If you’d like to get involved, you can find out more here.

Cape Town Embrace


One Messy Mama


Mummy Times Two