WE’RE ALL HIDING SOMETHING

The time for pretending is over, resistance is futile. The truth shall set you free and the truth is that all of us have a Pandora’s Box somewhere in our life. Often hidden in plain sight, this Pandora’s Box might take the shape of a beautiful wooden chest in our living room, charming storage space under the stairs or nifty drawers that push in under a king size bed. But mostly it presents itself in the shape of an innocent cupboard or closet, filled with all the stuff we never packed away properly and copious amounts of guilt. In this space we store, but mostly hide, our sins as supposed purveyors of the order and elegance akin to the beautiful rooms from glossy home decor brochures. We hope and believe that this box shall stay closed as not to release all the shame and horror of our daily untidy existence, into the open for the whole world to see… This space exists in all homes, I am convinced. For some people, it might only be an untidy drawer filled with all sorts of whatnots with nowhere to go, on the other extreme it might take the shape of a double garage filled to the brim with clothes, toys, exercise equipment, broken appliances, and boxes full of scrapbooking must-haves never to be opened again. When it comes to the illusion of order and elegance, having regular visitors over to my house is a necessary evil, and having a Pandora’s box is a non-negotiable in all last minute order-creating activities. Please tell me I’m not alone in my turbo-charged tidying-up efforts approximately 19 minutes before guests are due for an “informal” dinner date. I personally find that inviting overly-judgmental guests adds a bit of spark and excitement to the aforementioned efforts. I shouldn’t care, but I do, so save the sermon Susan… Anyway… as I’m sure anyone with young children at home can attest to, order and elegance are often as elusive as an annual vacation on a yacht in the Caribbean with babysitters included. But I think it’s nice that we try. And let’s face it, as cool as you and your friends might be with the bohemian style of your family abode, it simply is easier and quicker to get almost anything done in those rare instances when there is order in your home. When there is a place for everything and everything is in its place. I often find that after creating even a small amount of order in the corner of a room or just sorting my metal kitchen utensils from the wooden ones, I am filled with an unreasonable amount of accomplishment. Maybe it’s just me. I’m always on the look-out for clever storage solutions, and not because I’m an overachieving, neat-picking home organiser extraordinaire, but because I am a lazy person who would rather be relaxing than sorting and sorting and sorting the endless mess that comes with raising my munchkins and having a full life in general. Finding storage that looks good is great, and if it also serves a purpose beyond storage, I’m sold! Enter pouffe the magic seat… I’m already a fan of MiGi, a local company that designs and produces quality solutions for moms and kids, so it’s only natural that I should find my new favourite storage solution on their site in the shape of a pouffe. This magical pouffe serves as storage and as seating, it is beautiful, weatherproof, very good quality and you can wipe it clean with a damp cloth. You can stuff it with almost anything, from extra blankets to toys or clothes or those jeans you’ll never fit into again but you’re keeping the dream alive. And these pouffes come in four beautiful designs so you’re sure to find one that will blend in with any room. Need I say more? One last thing before I go… they have other functional decor stuff too, that is sure to blend in beautifully with your pouffe, like the canvas bucket for storing toys, sports equipment or whatever life throws at you. Their website, www.migidesigns.co.za, is very user-friendly but you can also buy their stuff through Takelot.com. If you’re a busy mom like me, you’ll know that there is a certain kind of magic in sometimes following the path of least resistance. Helping your kids to keep their rooms tidy might be easier than you think. And, you’re welcome.

TEEPEE TIME! HOME ADVENTURES AT YOUR FINGERTIPS

I want to have my cake and eat it. Yup, that’s right. I want to be mother of the year, but without the 24/7 backbreaking emotional and physical labour, it takes to just get nominated for this elusive award. Which means I love shortcuts and tips. If you don’t have children yet, move along swiftly, there’s nothing here to see… (lol).

So, moms, if I could tell you about a quick and easy way to do something for yourself and your child, and even throw in an improvement to the decor of your child’s room, would you be interested? Read on sister…
Perhaps it’s a remnant from our days as cave dwellers, but I am yet to meet a kid who does not love hiding inside a fort or any cave-like structure (often meticulously put together in the middle of your living room).

It’s easy to see the allure of a hideout, even more so as a middle-aged mom of two boys. I would be lying if I told you I have not been (very) tempted to crawl into an already assembled blanket-built fort for some solitude, where I can drink my double triple espresso from a Sippy cup while curled up in the foetal position, nurturing well deserved “me-time”.

I remember a summer holiday where a red two-man tent, set up in our front garden, became a hideout for weeks on end. There was nothing inside bar two patio chair cushions, a book or two, and snacks in the form of two apples and a bottle of water. And it was bliss. My friends and I told each other stories, we played games, we sang, we had naps, we laughed, and we felt safe and yet free – as if we had our own little house.

So, here’s where the shortcut comes in: Putting up tents outside and building forts inside aren’t always the best/easiest option, for various reasons of which the taking down and tidying up of said structures is not an insignificant part.You want to give your children that special, nurturing space, but without going through the whole rigmarole involved with above mentioned structures. Enter Teepees…

Teepees are like tents, less the zip and windows. I’m not known for my interior decorating skills or cool whatevers, but I think Teepees look kinda cool and trendy.

There is a certain kind of magic to a hiding place, whether it’s in a child’s own bedroom or elsewhere in the house or garden, it still feels like an adventure. It’s a place that transports you, even if you don’t set foot outside your house. And the mother-of-the-year part is that it can help your child to develop their imagination and take a timeout from all the orchestrated, over-stimulating activities we often expose them to. Children need to have space where they can be bored, can find a bit of peace and quiet, can feel safe and relaxed and can take some time-out for reading or dreaming.

While your child is enjoying some guilt-free Teepee time, it gives you a bit of space and extra time for doing other important mom stuff. And that’s also really cool.

If you’re not sure what Teepees are, or what’s available out there – have a look at www.migidesigns.co.za – they have a beautiful selection in different sizes and colours. The MiGi website is very user-friendly and navigating between products is a breeze.

MiGi is a proudly South African company and their Teepees are manufactured locally. And they even make them for pets.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have an appointment with a Teepee.

THE RICK ASTLEY BAG…NEVER GONNA GIVE YOU UP!

If you’re anything like me, you’d also much rather divulge the contents of your Facebook search history (read: stalking) than unpack your handbag and open your whole being to the scrutiny of this cruel world.

Finding a good bag might be as precious as finding a good gynae; a treasure to behold from now onto eternity. The difference is that if you find a really great bag you might actually share the info with your besties and even your mother-in-law.

We all know that the value of a good mom lies not in her cooking, curves or charisma – it lies in her ability to whip out a wet wipe with the same dexterity one might expect from a highly-skilled engineer changing the tyres on an F1 racing car at a Grand-Prix pitstop.

With kids in tow a clutch bag just won’t cut it – save your illusions of grandeur for date night, retirement or death. For efficient and successful child-rearing, the only bag that is worth its salt is one that is strong enough to withstand the onslaught of a million cute but very destructive minions.

This special bag may or may not include the following: tissues for tears and runny noses, healthy snacks for kids (or for busy mom stuck in traffic), less-healthy snacks intended for bribery (also to eventually be consumed by said mother stuck in aforementioned traffic), hand-sanitizer, make-up, purse, phone, sunscreen, perfume, chewing gum, 5 pens (of which none work), a notebook (never to be used, but I’m old-school so bite me), sunglasses, crumbs, sand, contact lenses, a collection of small rocks, magic crystals and a dried lizard tail (because, boys.

But the madness continues… you may also find other unnecessary items such as plasters, a tweezer / screwdriver combo thingy, allergy tablets, pain meds, a plastic fork, small change, tooth floss, 17 individually wrapped wet wipes collected from various family restaurants, and my lost hopes and dreams of ever wearing white clothes again.

So, I’m sure you’ll share my joy at eventually finding The Bag. The ultimate, the one and only to carry the weight of all my expectations and above-mentioned life-and-death items. And it’s sort of fancy too – very practical, elegant and beautiful. And it has the perfect name: Go-Go Bag. It is truly the Mary Poppins of mom bags. Thank goodness I’ve resurfaced to real life after the nappy years, but if you’re still down there, I’m sure you’d be able to fit a handful of nappies and a jumbo pack of wet wipes into this bag as well, even if you have half your life in there already.

After finding the Go-Go bag I was hungry for more, so I visited their Facebook page and their website (www.migidesigns.co.za). Go-Go bags are designed by MiGi Designs and they have so many practical and beautiful things that most moms would love. The website is very user-friendly, and I like the fact that they are a local company focusing on good things: quality, beauty and giving back. You can shop for their items on their website or through takealot.com, and their products are also stocked in a selection of gift/lifestyle shops.

I am #blessed to have found the perfect travel companion in the Go-Go bag, it’s perfect for the crazy and happy mess that being a mom brings.

And no, you can’t look inside.