Out & About

5 Kiddie-friendly wine farms in The Cape Winelands

Living in Cape Town has a great advantage of never being out of options when it comes to entertainment for the family. One of our favourite outings as a family is to explore the Cape Winelands District (Stellenbosch, Paarl, Worcester, Wellington and Franschhoek) whilst enjoying all the delicious food, superb wines and family activities it has to offer. 

We always opt for places that are kiddie-friendly as this means the possibility of us staying longer is more likely than not. Whether it is a fun, jungle gym, a cookie decorating activity, a kiddie grape juice tasting or just a plain kids menu at the restaurant, here’s our family’s top five kiddie-friendly wine farms that we enjoy visiting… time and again. 

1. Joosterberg (Klein Joostenberg)

A firm breakfast favourite for us, Klein Joostenberg offers a great variety of things to taste, see and do. 

The Bistro offers open seating outside that’s ideal for parents who wish to keep an eye out on little ones playing on the grass or jungle gyms or swings. 

Giving that true farm feeling, a few chickens roam amongst guest sitting outside, which keep the kids entertained for hours on end as well. Indoor seating also has a ‘homey’ vibe that adds to the authenticity of the farm. 

The food is freshly prepared with a menu that caters for all tastes. 

The Deli sells fresh goods such as fruit veggies, flowers and herbs, preserves and a variety of pork cuts fresh from the butchery – a must before leaving as we love doing our weekly grocery shopping getting stocked up on farm fresh goods. 

As we usually end up doing the breakfast run at Joostenberg amd we’ve yet to explore other activities on the farm such as their wines or picnics. 

http://joostenberg.co.za/


2. Tokara

Probably my favourite, all time plave to visit as the views are simply breathtaking, the food is absolutely amazing, the wine and olive oils produced on the farm is simply divine and there’s a sense of true tranquility when I visit Tokara. 

Another breakfast destination for our family as I am simply in love with their Delicatessen! 

They have a beautiful play area outside with peacocks walking around on the grass area. The decor is simplistic and yet intriguing as it hosts all of the goods that they sell – from chocolates, olive oils, spices, kitchen goodies and load more). 

A kiddies menu is available for little ones and I’d recommend bokking before visiting as they get filled up quickly for breakfast. 

http://www.tokara.co.za/delicatessen/


3. Jordan 

Jordan, has got to be my second favouw ine farm in our area. As with Tokara, it has a tranquil vibe to it with friendly staff, the most amazing breads and charcuterie that you will ever taste. The bakery @ Jordan is a great place to. Isit with the family for a summer’s lunch  as you sit on the deck whilst the kids play on the grass area as you look out on the farm dam. 

We simply love the relaxed atmosphere that Jordan has and the wines that they offer are pretty damn good as well. We always end up leaving with a few bottles after lunch to enjoy at home at a next occasion. 

http://www.thebakery.co.za/


4. Skilpadvlei

If you’re looking for a relaxing breakfast and getting the kids to play and release some of their energy the Skilpadvlei is ideal! 

Affordable and quality food and wine to enjoy – this is yet another firm favourite of our family with a visit almost on a monthly basis. 

http://www.skilpadvlei.co.za/


5. Under Oaks

Recommended by Granny and Grampa, this is a newcomer to our list of favourite wine farms in the Cape Winlands area. Specifically in Wellington/Paarl. 
Under Oaks is known for the delicious pizzas that they serve up alongside their wines.  The farm also has a homey feel to it with a fun play area for the kids outside on the grass areas. 

When visitig you’re most likely to end up being there for more than 2 hours as time passes so quickly and the fun just doesnt stop. Highly recommend the pizzas! 

http://www.underoaks.co.za/


Next time you pop round to our neck of the woods, be sure to pop round to one these for a great day out for everyone! 
Cxx

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Random Thoughts

Surviving the storms

IMG_2138Update from my previous blog post: Be strong, walk through the storms

Nearly a month has passed and it seems that I’ve survived the storms (so far)! How, you may ask? Well, I merely listened and opened myself to the advice of someone that no other can replace… my husband.

He always encourages, supports, cares and goes the extra mile for his family. The one thing that I’ve learned from him is that some things you can control (and your reaction to situations is what makes you survive them or let them consume you) and some you can’t. Those you can’t… well, they’re out of your hands. You always just need to give your all, but ALWAYS keep focus on what you hold dearest to your heart. That should be your first priority and for the rest, well time management skills and open communication is key.

A colleague of mine commented the other day stating that “you seem happier lately”. And yes, I am. Even with a to-do list as long as my arm, I’m not stressing, panicking or at a constant fear of ‘the worst’ happening. I do my best, give my best and yes, life lately has been good to me.

A month has past since my previous post, and I’m exhausted from all the busy-ness of the past few weeks. That’s why we’re making time for us as a family and planned a well-deserved family weekend getaway. I cannot tell you how excited I am (like a child!). It all goes to show, the small things (those that you cannot replace with anything else) are what matters. And quality time with my beautiful little girl and handsome, wise beyond his years hubby is the ultimate gift that encourages me to get through all that needs to ‘get done’ each day. They are my purpose and I’m sure that all moms out there can relate. We do what we do, as hard as we do all for the ones we love.

Stay strong, fellow moms! The storm shall soon pass.

C
xx

 

Random Thoughts

Be strong, walk through the storms

(warning: not a mommy related post, rather the ramblings of an overwhelmed wife)

It’s 2017 and we’re in March already – oh how time flies by! Lately, life’s felt like a constant race of ‘getting things done’ rather than enjoying life. New Year’s Eve I told myself that 2017 will be the year of great beginnings for us and boy, did we jump in the deep end!

Not only is work crazy busy (compared to last year this time), I’m back to studying again – a part-time 3-year course AND we’ve decided to buy and build our very first home (meaning a big move from the Suburbs to the Winelands in December). I have to admit that trying to keep your head above the surface, as difficult as it already is with being a working mother, these additional commitments and “to-do’s” has not only been challenging my energy and focus levels, but also relationships.

In today’s modern society where both husband and wife OR mother and father (if you prefer) are working full-time with only a few hours to spare in the evening for the kids and one another, having these additional commitments (as I like to call them) can seriously strain your relationship with one another and also with those dear to you like family and friends. Suddenly, there’s no more time for that weekend away, or dinner dates or even just a quiet chat. Support is such a crucial thing when these storms appear on the horizon of life with love keeping you strong and pushing you through it as it quickly passes. But it is also in these moments when the storms that we don’t experience together (work pressure, personal feelings or emotions) may possibly cause us to not fully support or love as we should.

Life gets hard, it becomes a challenge and in between there is the risk of failing your loved ones deeply. The feeling of inadequacy and the fear of losing what’s most important to you comes to haunt your mind causing lack of sleep, which in its own makes any situation even worse. Especially in my case as I am probably the worst person ever when overtired.

I read a short article the other day and it stated that the following 5 things can cause a marriage to fail:

  • Overcommitment and physical exhaustion
  • Money conflict or excessive debt
  • Selfishness
  • Unhealthy relationships with in-laws
  • Unrealistic expectations

When reading this we all are most likely to at least identify one of these in our current situations. That is why honest communication within a relationship remain the most critical factor in making your marriage a successful one.

Now, I may work in PR/Communications – so naturally you’d assume that this factor (communication) should be great in my personal relationships as well, right? Well, no, not necessarily. You see, in business there’s no feeling its straight-forward, but in personal relationships, well they’re personal. I’m also a people pleaser, which means that I will try and do all that I can to keep those I love happy (even if it means not communicating my true feelings for the greater good of avoiding conflict). But then these storms (the ones we create and the ones that arise naturally) come on the horizon and the people pleaser is physically not able to please everyone. It results in those who mean the world to you taking a back seat on the priority list as you have to ‘check emails, post social media posts, do assignments, coordinate event logistics, write content’ and ‘cook supper, clean the dishes, bath the little ones’ – all things required for your family’s well-being. But isn’t your time and attention also a priority? YES, of course! But it’s physically not possible for us humans to be as productive (for a lack of a better word) as we’re pushing ourselves to be.

So what’s the solution? Well, if you know please let me in on the secret! I’ve yet to find it. The closest solution that I’ve come upon is remaining open and communicating with your partner – remember the vows you gave on your wedding day, appreciate one another’s flaws and support one another. Hold each other’s hand as you walk through the storms and leave the criticism and resentments where they should be, in the movie review section of the newspapers!

And lastly, LOVE one another no matter what! It’s what got your to marry one another in the first place.

Chantelle
x

Uncategorized

Unplanned? Not necessarily unloved…

A few weeks ago a very good friend of mine announced that one of her very childhood friends is expecting a baby. This friend is also one of her bridesmaids and the pregnancy was unplanned. 

Now, as a bride-to-be you can imagine the mixture of emotions going through her. She’s ecstatic for her friend and at the same time also very emotional about the fact that it is the second of her four bridesmaids that will either be highly pregnant or breastfeeding a newborn baby at the wedding. For any bride, it can feel like the very end of the world as this would mean no high heels, jumping in pictures and all the other wedding trends currently seen all over the bridal scenes. 

Now, whilst she’s telling me all of this… here’s me 100% understanding what she’s saying and feeling. But then the other side of me (the mom side, i guess?) knew exactly what her friend is currently going through – a whole different mix of emotions! Joy, fear, self-doubt, uneasiness – the list goes on! 

This whole conversation brought up so many memories and emotions for me. A lot of you might not know, but can probably gather that Caitlin (our 3-year-old daughter) was also an unplanned pregancy. 

I remember it like it was yesterday! I was a wreck completely paranoid and afraid! No way I was ready to be a mom yet?! We planned on waiting a few more years in order to be more financially prepared. But God had other plans 🙂 When I had to break the news to The Husband, I feared for the worst (as I was completely scared out of my wits) but he was over the moon with pure joy of the great news! 

I think it was only around month 6 when my feelings settled and I felt more at ease with the fact that I was going to be a mommy. 

Caitlin’s birth was an extraordinary experience. I recall as I held our little bundle of joy alone in my room, thinking to myself – ‘how on earth am I going to keep you safe from all the bad in this world and be a good mom to you?’ 

So far parenthood has truly been a memorable ride with ups and downs and curveballs every now and then. But I would not have had it any differently. Yes, it tests the little patience that I do have and yes, I don’t have that much time for myself or even with The Husband, but at the rate that Caitlin’s growing now, we’ll be having more time for ourselves sooner than we think! 

So, what was I getting at? Oh, yeah! Just because it’s an unplanned pregnancy,doesn’t  mean that that little baby isn’t loved. Most of the unplanned journeys we take end up being the most memorable and cherished ones! 

FYI – my friend got over her bridal emotions and couldn’t be happier for her childhood friend/bridesmaid! 

Share with me: was your prenancy unplanned? If so, how did you handle it? 

Much love, Chantelle

Uncategorized

🙋🏼 Hey, it’s been a while…

Wow, how time flies… in general! Isn’t it just crazy? Next thing you know, it’s Christmas again and all those New Year’s resolutions or goals you set out for 2017 is just a distant memory. 

Since my last blog post, you might’ve noticed that Mama & Me has received a bit of a makeover. Not only did I have a minor run in with my previous hosting platform (we shall not name names) but I also got the sense that even though I loved the simplistic look of the previous site, it was not representative of our true personalities (well, more mine than Caitlin’s). So, I decided that it was time for a change to something that’s more vibrant and reflective of our ‘bubbly-ness’. 

I had big goals and dreams for Mama & Me (and still do) but soon realised that I was cracking under the pressure of giving guidance that will 100% help my followers in being the best mom they can be without losing sight of themselves. 

Thus, I will still be sharing my opinion, experience and challenges of finding balance as a working mom, trying my best to guide fellow moms following Mama & Me to do the same, but I will also be sharing a bit more of the fun side of motherhood – because it’s not all schedule juggling, dirty diapers and tantrums – you know! 

So, herewith i’d like to say “welcome to our new blog space. I hope you like it and that you’ll continue to visit this space where I’d like to share all things about motherhood, childhood and life itself! 

If you’re following Mama & Me on Facebook, please do join us on Instagram too! And vice versa! 

Much love, 

Chantelle & Caitlin 

Giveaway

[GIVEAWAY] Win with MooMoo Kids!

I’ve taken SOOOOO long to choose something from the amazing MooMoo Kids range that Caitlin would not only love to wear/use, but something that’s also very practical.

I ended up purchasing the gorgeous Bunny Toddler Towel (I also want one!) and an arts & crafts apron that will protect her clothes – both very practical.

The products are of great quality, locally produced by a fellow mommy and the personal touch in her service is so appreciated! Next up on my list for winter season is definitely some of the pure cotton onesies (we struggle with Eczema in our family, thus they are must-haves as cotton clothes are non-irritant)!

Okay, so to you that’s reading this post… what’s in it for you? Well, I’ve got TWO vouchers valued at R500 each to giveaways!!! Yes, two lucky fans will be able to win a R500 voucher to spoil her little one with some fabulous MooMooKids goodies!

How to win?

  1. Like both pages on Facebook: @MamaAndMeSA and @MooMooKidsSA

  2. Like the giveaway post on Facebook

  3. Share the giveaway post on Facebook

 EASY, right?!

 The two winners will be announced on Friday, 14 October 2016! So, hurry and go enter NOW!

 Much love, Chantelle

Random Thoughts

Sorry I’ve been so quiet (but I can make it up to you!)

So here I am, the working mom within an industry that requires attention from you 24/7 and a toddler that’s in desperate need of her mommy’s love and attention. Not even to mention how my (might I just say AWESOME) husband is feeling. #CanYouSayNeglected

It’s tough being a working parent. Oh wait, it’s tough being a parent…full stop! Not only are you responsible for the life of another, you have to lead by example – that means keeping your cool, no matter how tired, frustrated or upset you are. This is something I am personally struggling with as I’m sure some of you are as well.

 THE REASON FOR MY ABSENCE….? Being too busy with work and not focusing on my family and personal growth. Needless to say, instead of this easing things up and increased productivity it has made me grumpy, frustrated and at some stages just plain stressed. Why? Well, that’s a story for another day (or blog post). The short version is that I need to realign my focus to what’s important – my beautiful baby (um, toddler) girl, my superman hubby and my blog.

 So with all that said, I apologise for the silent treatment and to make it up to you I will be doing a little feature for MooMoo Kids (watch this space!) and you could be the lucky winner of a lovely prize to spoil your little one!

 Here’s to a more balanced life and many more blog posts here on Mama & Me (raising a glass of wine because you know it’s really made to be mommy’s coping mechanism 😉🍷)

 Much love, Chantelle

Giveaway

Giveaway!

Celebrating the success that Mama & Ma has had to date (5 month’s running – whoohoo!) I’m giving one lucky #MamaAndMe_Mommy the opportunity to win one of my baby must-have items mentioned in my post ‘Baby must-haves for busy moms‘! Read more about it, here.

 Okay, phew! I’m SO excited!

In collaboration with Lalaba Blankie, we’re giving away a Blue Chevron with orange sheep (non-padded) Lalaba Blankie worth R450.00

To win, head over to the Mama & Me Facebook page and follow the instructions on the competition post!

HEADS UP! Lalaba Blankie is on the lookout for a new brand representative! If you think that your bundle of joy is destined to represent Lalaba Blankie, head over to their Facebook page (here) and enter! Who knows… you might just win both competitions?! 😉

The best of luck to you all!

Chantelle
xxx

Handy Tools & Advice

Baby must-haves for busy moms

For those of you that don’t know me yet, I’m Chantelle – a first-time mother to a beautiful little girl named Caitlin that’s captured in this picture above. Apart from the porridge brain that comes with being a Mombie, I can be quite the nervous wreck when I’m not fully prepared for something. Hence the fact why I cried myself silly when I heard that I’m pregnant… it wasn’t planned… and I wasn’t prepared!

So, what does any first time, unprepared mommy-to-be do after she comes out of her denial and accepts that she’s expecting a baby? She goes out and buys all the relevant pregnancy and baby books out there to prepare herself for the next upcoming months… and what’s to follow thereafter. She reads them whole-heartedly whilst the panic rises in her throat with thoughts of ‘how on earth am I going to remember all of this?!’

Almost nine months down the line and the doctor places your beautiful baby girl in her arms and tears of pure joy are running down her face. ‘She’s here!’ – she and her loved one are over the moon! She’s had enough time to prepare herself for being a parent to this little bundle of joy.

In the hospital she’s got the nurses to take care of her little one (and herself!) if she is not able to do so. All is bliss with nothing and no one else to care or worry about than her perfect little angel. A few days later and she’s home. With her partner standing by her side, in front of a cot with a crying newborn baby at 3 o’clock in the morning, having tried all the tips and tricks she’s read and recalled from those educational baby books in her bedside drawers. Seconds away from pulling her hair out of her head, she gives in to what her child needs – her mother! Bugger, what the books say! If she wants to sleep in her mom’s arms while being rocked in the lazy-boy chair, then so be it!

Sounds familiar?

— Yes. I was one of those moms – wanting to do everything by the book. —

To some extend it seemed to work, especially setting in a routine and keeping to a feeding schedule! But for the rest of it, not so much. Different strokes for different folks, I guess.

What I did find though was there were certain products on the market that I simply could not have lived without! (To the people that gave them to me as gifts, I THANK you! To those that told me about some of these products, I THANK you!)

This is my top baby must-have products for a busy mom:

  • Babysense App (great for setting in a routine and keeping little one well-nourished with a feeding schedule)

  • Angelcare Baby Monitor (simply the best invention yet! It was my saving grace for not hovering over Caitlin trying to figure out if she’s breathing or not. I still use the light from the monitor as a night light for Caitlin – who is now over 2 years of age)

  • Babysense Swaddling Blanket (yes, if felt weird wrapping her up like a worm in a cocoon, but she slept like an angel in a swaddling blanket)

  • Baby Sling (I had two different ones and both served their purpose during Caitlin’s first year. They were great for keeping my hands available to get stuff done, supporting my back whilst carrying her during the post-birth phase and kept her happy as she was close to mommy. They also worked great as a breastfeeding cover-up when in public places.)

  • Winter Sleeping Bags (By winter Caitlin was big enough to no longer being swaddled so our peaceful nights continued with the use of a baby sleeping bag – simply a genius product!)

  • Angelcare Bath Seat (we had a regular one from Baby Boom before purchasing this one and I have to say that the few extra Rands it cost was definitely worth every bit! It is so sturdy and you really don’t have to stress at all that it will slip or anything.)

  • Fischer Price Rocker & Swing (the best ‘toy’ I’ve ever purchased for Caitlin! She still uses the chair piece today as it can hold up to 18kg. When she was a baby the soothing melodies combined with the swinging motion had her sleeping peacefully in seconds)

  • Bottle Steriliser (no time for sterilising bottles the old fashion way! A microwave bottle steriliser is simply a must-have!)

  • Dr. Brown’s Wide Neck Feeding Bottles (I would recommend these bottles to ALL mothers! Not once did I struggle with winds. They’re specially designed to avoid winds and not as difficult to clean as one would think. Caitlin also loved them!)

Last but not least, there is one baby product that I think would’ve totally rocked my world as it combines three of the products mentioned in the list above. It’s called the Lalaba Blankie – a proudly South African and revolutionary blanket that assists you as a mom with lifting, holding and transporting your little one. It also assists with

  • swaddling

  • recovery from giving birth

  • lifting your sleeping angel from her car seat

  • fully covers while breastfeeding

I came across the Lalaba Blankie just too late – Caitlin was just over 12 months – but seeing it in action at quite a few of the baby expo’s and all the positive testimonials online from both local and even international customers, I’m sure it would’ve been TOP of my list!

SHARE WITH ME: As a fellow busy mom, what are your must-have baby products?

Chantelle
xxx

Encouragement

A letter to you, the working mom

I felt to write this letter to myself as a reminder that all I do as a mother, wife, employee, daughter, sister and individual does not go unnoticed. I stopped at all I do as a mother in your average working day as we might sit here forever if I had to write for all aspects of my life. Thought to share it with you in the hopes that you realise that you’re not alone in the daily struggle of balancing life and the little things that we think is major seem quite insignificant compared to the small gestures our loves ones show us on a daily basis.

This letter is to you, the working mom. The one that leaves behind a piece of your heart at home everyday to support your family, to set an example of responsibility for your children and to achieve success in your career. Never forgetting the sacrifices of leaving your loved ones behind as you kiss them goodbye every morning.

This is for you, the one with her feet in both worlds. Never feeling quite 100% present in either of them. Hoping that you could get through at least half of your never-ending to-do list before its bedtime. Or even better, not needing any sleep then you’d get it all done! 

To you, waking up at all hours of the night to make sure everyone is having a peaceful night with extra blankets just in case it gets cold. To you, the one that decides to quickly do a load of washing whilst everyone’s asleep and climbs back into bed – just as the little one wakes up. You, the one who doesn’t want to wake the rest of the house, so you get out of bed again and tend to your little one’s needs. To you, the mom who sits with her child to get them back to sleep all over again except this time you can’t fall asleep yourself. 

This is to you, the one who can shower, get dressed and do your hair/makeup in 5.4 minutes right before your liftclub arrives. To you, the mom who can do all this in 5.4 minutes while also getting making sure you’ve freshly ironed clothing for all or quickly folding up the laundry from your early laundry session. You, the mom that can even keep a toddler happy by practising your 12pm presentation while channeling the energy levels and voice of Mickey Mouse. 

This is to you, the mom who walks a fine line between hurrying your slow-paced child and losing your patience because of the fact that everything…takes…so…bladdy…long. To you, the one who smiles big when that slow-paced child shows you her crayon drawing, even though you know you’re already 15 minutes behind schedule. You, the mom who gets all the necessary bags packed and the lunches made and everyone loaded in the car and buckled up, and as they’re about to head out of the driveway you realize you forgot to pack in diapers for potty training classes. 

This is to you, the mom who runs back inside the house, grabs the diapers, stuffs it in the school bag and turns around to get back to the car – as you hear her say: ‘pee-pee mama’. To you, the mom that sits the child on the potty, and waits. You, the mom who waits and waits and waits even though nothing happens. 

This is to you, the mom who does it all, reacts only with a heavy sigh, and repeats the entire ridiculous process all over again.  To you, the one who always puts the school bag on the passenger seat – the only one that knows why it must be placed on that exact seat.

This letter is to you, the mom who stops at school for drop off, hands over a sad toddler with arms reaching for you and disappointment on her little face. To you, the mom who puts on a brave face even though your throat is tight from sadness in leaving your little one in this state. 

This is to you, the mom who turns around and goes to give your little one a proper hug goodbye. To you, the one who lets go second as she noticed breakfast being served in her classroom. You, the mom who glances down at her clothing and notices a few smudges of this morning’s quick yogurt on her pants and blouse. 

This is to you, the mom who opts for the bathroom before going into the office, trying to get out the stains – no such luck. To you, the one who gets one with work, but still wondering how your little angel’s day is going and if she’s missing you as much as you are missing her? To you, the one who delivers that 12pm presentation and rocks it even with a few smudges and stains on your clothes. 

This is to you, the mom who turns down drinks with your co-workers. To you, the one who knows it would take too long and you have too much to do and you just can’t stay later because being a mom doesn’t make allowances at daycare for you to have drinks with friends for fun. You, the mom who hears the details from friends laughing at something together as they return from drinks, and you put your headphones on because you wish you were laughing too

This is to you, the one who gets everything done that needs to be done and still leaves with just enough time to get home to prepare supper. To you, the one who inches your way through traffic and cranks up the radio when ‘Groovin’ from UB40 comes on. You, the one who quickly greets her lift club and hurries inside because you can’t stand to wait any longer. 

This is to you, the one who missed those dainty fingers wrapped around your face and that little voice saying ‘ hello, mama’. To you, for when she looks into your eyes and shines a bright smile just for you. You, for when your heart feels complete.

This is to you, the mom who tidies up the house with a two year old on your hip, makes dinner while your partner runs little ones bath, then feeds the child and almost forgets to feed yourself. To you, the one who baths and plays, gets her little princess dressed and tucks her into bed. You, the one who tucks her into bed again… and again… and again…. and again! 

This is to you, the one who finally collapses on the couch with a glass of wine or a cup of coffee for that last bit of energy to do another tidy-up before bedtime. To you, the mom who quickly catches up on her email, who sees a few mails from your boss.. and your boss’s boss. This is to you who opens up the emails adding the to-do’s to your already long list of to-do’s for tomorrow in your mind whilst gulping the last bit of wine. You that crafts a polite and witty reply and pushes send as you close your screen and head to bed. 

This is to you, The Working Mom. 

Your child(ren) may not see everything you do. Maybe not even your partner. But I see….you. 

This is to you, mom. For doing all of the above and more! For getting up at 5am the next morning to do it all over again. 

Chantelle
xxx