Retail therapy always does the trick

I’m sure all moms have been there. It’s that moment when you sit back and realise, whoa…I’m not superhuman after all. I can’t do it all, I can’t handle it all, and I need a break!

Well after a couple of super busy, stressful, sleepless weeks, I had one of those days yesterday. I took the morning off, left the girls with the nanny, and went shopping.

It certainly did the trick. There is nothing like retail therapy to help you escape the world for a bit.

I found yesterday’s shopping spree even more therapeutic as I went to shop for my Santa Shoebox pledge, which meant not shopping for myself or my own family, but buying goodies and Christmas presents for two underprivileged children.

I found this to be one of the most humbling experiences I’ve had in a long time, as I really realised in that moment just how fortunate my own family, and especially my children, are.

Buying an outfit of clothing, a toy, some toiletries and other essentials for a little boy and girl who would otherwise not be getting any presents for Christmas, who likely wouldn’t be seeing a Christmas tree lit up in their home or scoffing a turkey dinner over the festive season, really made me quite emotional. It was humbling. It was an eye opener. It was just what I needed to put a lot of things into perspective.

I don’t usually think twice when buying my kids clothes or toiletries, or sometimes even toys, but there are so many out there who have so little, and in that moment, I was so grateful for all my blessings.

I can’t wait to extend my little retail therapy session onto Saturday afternoon when I meet up with some girlfriends to wrap up our Santa shoeboxes together over a glass of vino and a proper catch up. It has been far too long!

If you haven’t pledged your Santa Shoebox yet, go do it here now! It’s a great cause!



Wonderful World of Birds

20160605_101347Our girls absolutely love all kinds of animals, especially birds. They always get so excited when they see a bird, pointing up and shouting “dirdie”. So we knew the World of Birds would be a hit, and we were absolutely right. I have never heard so many squeals of delight and exclamations of “wow”.

World of Birds is an interesting place. It’s a wildlife sanctuary for birds and other animals, including monkeys, buck and reptiles. There are some beautiful species of birds to see from all over the world. Some of them are in cages, while others are in open aviaries that you can walk through. They have a number of circular routes you can follow through the aviaries to see the different animals. There is also an open aviary where you can walk through and play with monkeys.

20160605_115440The monkeys definitely stole the show. At first the girls were a bit nervous of them as the monkeys are quite boisterous and jumped all over us. Admittedly, I was a bit nervous of the monkeys myself, thanks to a little traumatic experience of being chased by a group of monkeys as a child while on holiday in KZN. But once we all relaxed it was lots of fun to have the monkeys come sit on our lap and shoulders, and jump on our heads.

The girls just loved seeing all the birds and it was so lovely seeing the look of delight on their faces as we walked around. Both IP and I even felt a bit emotional seeing such happiness on our children’s faces. It was especially sweet that every time we walked out of one aviary into another AG would say “bye bye dirdies”.

Despite the fun, though, I really felt a bit conflicted while walking around there. The place is definitely in need of some TLC. It’s a bit run down and grotty in places and some of the cages and aviaries are definitely in need of a face lift. We’ve often heard rumours that it was even shutting down due to a lack of funding.

On the one hand they are doing fabulous work looking after some creatures that have been previously abused or neglected, but I also felt so sorry for some of the animals there, especially some of the primate species – there were a number of exotic monkeys from other parts of the world that just looked so depressed sitting in their enclosures. They’re animals that are supposed to be swinging free in the jungles of the Amazon or Borneo, not sitting locked up at the bottom tip of Africa.

All in all, though, it was a great family outing, and we will definitely go back to World of Birds soon. Despite my mixed feelings about the place, the girls had a wonderful time, and that was the most important thing. It will be especially nice to see the place in the summer.

You can find out more about World of Birds on their website.

Fantastic day cycling on the Promenade

We recently did something we’ve been wanting to do with the girls for ages – we went for a cycle on the Promenade with them. It was an absolute hit and between lots of giggles and squeals of delight, we know they had an absolute ball!

20160521_105039We hired bicycles from Up Cycles who have a couple of bike stations around the Atlantic Seaboard, including in Camps Bay and at the V&A Waterfront. We hired bikes from the station at the Pavilion on the Promenade and did a circular route up and down the coast heading towards the Waterfront.

There are a couple of options if wanting to cycle with kids – you can hire a bike with a little seat on the front for toddlers or they have these awesome little buggies that two kids can sit in that get pulled behind the bike. We chose the front seat option and the girls loved sitting up front and watching the world go by. To their delight they could reach out and hold the handlebars and often tried to steer – they both even got upset as they wanted to steer on their own.

If you think you get a lot of attention when out and about with twin toddlers, try cycling with them sitting with you on a bike along the Promenade – haha! Just about everyone looked twice as we went by and we attracted lots of stares and smiles. We had so much fun and loved sharing this adventure as a family.

It was such a gorgeous sunny autumn day with the sea sparkling on one side and Lion’s Head looking over us on the other. Lots of people were out and about enjoying the sunshine and it just reinforced for us what we love so much about our beautiful city. We have realised recently that there is so much more to enjoy in the Mother City now that we are parents, and we are making a concerted effort to take advantage of all the great things to do with kids in Cape Town. We are privileged to be able to enjoy such wonderful quality time with our children and this was just the first of many more adventures we look forward to having in the coming weeks and months.
You don’t need to be super fit to cycle on the Promenade as it’s a nice flat route along the coast, so it’s something the whole family can enjoy – granny and grampa too!

We will definitely be back for many more such outings and can highly recommend a cycle on the Promenade for anyone looking for a fun day out as a family.

Thanks Up Cycles for such a great service! If you’d like more info you can visit their Facebook page.