Healthy Salted Date Caramel Sauce

I’ve been loving my healthy treats lately, its been a strange thing for me, because I don’t really like sweet treats.  The things you will like during pregnancy might startle you and make you worry about who you’re turning into!

I’m usually a rather nice person, and I watch Carl eat something in one sitting, but lately I’ve felt a lot of resentment towards the fact that he can’t control himself and eats most of my special really dark chocolate, in such a short period, where I try to make every block last and practice self control.    I actually went to bed angry thinking about the fact that I didn’t have a little block of chocolate, the irrational anger is real guys.  We think pregnancy is tough on us, but what about our poor husbands, or partners just getting caught in the crossfire of our irrational emotions or maybe they should just leave our special treats alone!

This salted caramel date sauce is amazing! I’ve been using it in everything! Seeing as I’m trying to eat 6 dates a day for a better labour, and my blender doesn’t want to properly blend in the dates in any of my smoothies;  This sauce is my special way of sneaking in delicious dates into my diet, that feels so decadent, but is so much better for you than normal caramel sauce.  I’ve been using it in my overnight oats, overnight coconut porridge, for my frozen salted date banana bites, as a dip for fruit, swirled into banana nice cream and as an extra special something to my rooibos latte.  The possibilities are endless!

HEALTHY SALTED DATE CARAMEL SAUCE

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Ingredients

  • 1 cup dates, if they don’t seem soft, or you have a bad blender soak them in warm water for 15 minutes and discard water.
  • 1/4 tsp ground Himalayan pink salt
  • 1/4 or more non dairy milk.  If you like it a little runnier add more milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp caramel extract – optional, but adds extra caramely goodness.

Directions

healthy salted caramel

Blend everything together in a blender until its smooth and has reached your desired consistency.   Serve with apple slices, or refrigerate

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What I ate: 28 Weeks Pregnant

I can’t believe how fast this pregnancy is flying by, I feel like I need to update and talk more about it before its all over and the lack of sleep thanks to a cute little newborn makes me all crazy and frazzled.

I’ve cut a lot of food out of my diet since finding out I’m pregnant, I’ve figured out what works for me and what doesn’t work for me one bit.  It all seems to be paying off, because I’m feeling great, have a lot of energy, I’m sleeping wonderfully and all my tests keep coming back great.  A couple of things I’ve cut out is; sugar, the big bad culprit we all know is bad for us, but we just can’t get enough of it, I actually wasn’t eating that much sugar before we went to Ireland, but as soon as we arrived in Ireland it was like I just had to have all the sugar.  All those delicious first world treats and candy I’ve never tried before had to be consumed.  I don’t regret my Irish sugar binge one bit, but I’m so glad I’m off sugar again, it just makes me feel so much better and my skin just feels wonderful! I’ve also limited my fruit in take to 3 – 4 fruit a day.  I got rid of most gluten, but kept rye bread in the mix, but I started getting severe heartburn from it from just one bite, so no more bread for me.  I’ve started sprouting most of my grains and legumes for easier digestion, personally I never knew brown rice could be sprouted, but wow, does it improve the taste!  and I’ve cut out soy, unless its fermented. Here is a look at what I’ve been eating.

BREAKFAST: Around 8 am

Gluten Free Overnight PorridgeIron rich Overnight Oats

I tried having a smoothie for breakfast, but it really just doesn’t work for me.  It doesn’t fill me up or keep me going for long, also the consistency really gets me on an empty stomach.  Instead I’ve been sticking to my Iron rich overnight oats or Grain free coconut flour overnight porridge filled with chia seeds, ground flax and hemp seeds.  I top both of these with fruit and coconut yogurt.  Its so good and keeps me going till around 12 pm – 1 pm.  Overnight porridge is just so convenient, you add all your ingredients in a jar, shake it up and leave it in the fridge overnight.  You wake up to a delicious, no hassle breakfast.  Convenient.

Snack: 12 pm

Green smoothie

I don’t really feel snacky, the porridge really keeps me full and satisfied for a long time, but around 12 pm or 1 pm, I start feeling a bit of a hankering for food. I either have a green smoothie or a couple of spoons of my favourite oh mega peanut butter or nuts.

LUNCH 2 pm

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Kale salad to go

^^ Look how well it travels.

I don’t really stray to far from my trusty kale salad for lunch, its so easy to make. I usually make a big salad that last me the whole week, it keeps well and transports amazingly in a lunchbox.  The kale salad consists of  kale chopped finely and massaged with lemon juice, sprinkled with salt and an avocado smashed in.  Topped with beetroot, carrot, tomatoes, celery, cucumber, peppers, roasted pumpkin seeds and lightly fried tempeh or walnut and mushroom meat.  Other lunches I have;  a nori wrap filled with sprouted beetroot hummus and vegetables.  So yummy and filling.

Snack: 5 pm – 5 -30 pm

vegan protein shake

Like clock work I have my green protein shake at this time.  I’ve started adding moringa leaf powder to it for added benefits.  Moringa is just the best.

DINNER: 6:30 pm – 7 pm

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Amazing lentil soup

For dinner I’ve been having my Moroccan lentil soup, a coconut flour base pizza, with homemade sugar free Iron rich BBQ sauce topped with a lot of veggies.  Burrito bowls made with cauliflower and broccoli rice, walnut meat and other veggies.  and a lot more.

DESSERT:

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I usually have one block of 85% or darker, dark chocolate or Frozen banana bites with date salted caramel.  I use the salted date sauce in my protein shake for extra date goodness.

Drinks : not mentioned is all the water I drink!  I drink a lot of water some with lemon in it some just like that and occasionally I’ll have a rooibos tea latte.  My dinners change, but breakfast and lunch stays the same!  Not mentioned: I do take prenatal vitamins!

That’s just a quick peak into what I’m eating while pregnant.

 

 

Baby Bump Update 28 Weeks Pregnant

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Hello Third Trimester!  I can’t believe I’ve made it to the third trimester, I feel like this pregnancy is just flying by and I’m just sitting here trying to enjoy it as much as I can.  I know a lot of woman if not all hate pregnancy, but I’m loving it! Growing a healthy baby is an amazing feeling, sometimes a little bit alien and weird, but mostly just amazing!  Feeling my baby kick inside me and sometimes flip around like a tiny gymnast is a wonderful feeling, the baby has even started kicking for Carl, not on demand, baby still stops kicking as soon as Carl touches my belly, but when Carl starts talking to baby, the kicking continues.

28 Weeks baby bump

Symptoms : I’ve been really lucky and I haven’t had any serious symptoms throughout this pregnancy (knock on wood).  Maybe its because I’m feeding my body only good nutrients, not having any sugar and cut down on gluten, but I feel great! My mood has been a little iffy, I sometimes get irrational anger towards Carl and the weird things he does at dinner table.  I’m sleeping pretty great and wake up feeling refreshed, I really hope it stays that way! Baby seems to sleep at night and kick the living daylights out of me during the day.  I also made the decision not to have anything to do with stress, and not seeing any negative people that make me feel bad until this baby is born.  Its been one of the best decisions I’ve made, I’m putting my baby’s health and my health first, and I’ve seen the positive way I feel since deciding this.  I want to continue staying, healthy and strong ;physically and emotionally for my home birth in December! I’ll see you negative Nancy’s in December!

Cravings: I haven’t been craving anything really.  I’m eating healthy meals, often.  I did find the most amazing all natural peanut butter, that’s made with all natural ingredients, including flax seed oil that I haven’t been able to get enough of.  Its just amazing!  I recommend oh mega peanut butter to everyone! Its just amazing!

Exercise:  I’ve been exercising every day for 30 – 40 minutes.  Light Cardio, some weight training and Pilates during the week.  On the weekend Carl and I like to go for a hour and half hike or walk.

Looking forward to:  I’m looking forward to getting the nursery ready!  I can’t wait to get into our new place to get painting and setting up for baby.

28 Weeks pregnant

All in all, I’m feeling pretty great about the pregnancy, birth and becoming a Mother.  I’m really excited to hold my baby in my arms and make our earthly adventure even more exciting.

 

an instant of life captured for eternity

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^^ Nature, always impressing me with its vibrant display of colour.  We should all plant bougainvillea as a fence, it will make the world so much prettier.

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^^ Found this pretty flower on the ground.  Just look at that colour.

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^^ Walks in Tokai forest.  They are planning on felling all these trees.  It brings a lot of sadness to my tree hugging heart.

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^^ Mesmerised.

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^^ Find beauty everywhere.

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^^ We found a log to sit on to enjoy our little picnic lunch.  Kale salad and almonds for me and a rye bread sandwich for him.

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^^ Enjoying his sandwich.

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^^ You know your husband loves you if he is willing to carry a heavy stump back to the car, because with a little work this stump will be turned into a side table.  Thanks Carl!

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^^ Pretty flowers on a walk to the waterfront.  A contrast of colours.

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^^One of my favourite photos! Feet in the forest.

Hey friends! What did you guys do this weekend?  We’ve been preparing for our move in 2 weeks and trying to buy everything at just the right moment so it will be delivered on the day we move in! Hopefully it all works out perfectly, otherwise this pregnant lady will be sleeping on the floor! We decided to go to Tokai forest before they start felling, so we can walk around the forest and be happy amongst all the trees.  I’m really sad that they want to cut down all the pine trees in Cape town for fynbos, but that’s just because I’m horribly allergic to it and it feels like Cape town is slowly trying to kill me, but we are only planning on staying here for a year or two so hopefully all the felling gets delayed and I get to enjoy all the trees until we leave.  Hopefully!

 

Surviving the First Trimester of Pregnancy

It feels like a million years ago since the first trimester, but boy, do I remember it.  The irrational anger and emotion, feeling like I’m going totally insane, falling asleep in a yoga position ( Yes, it happened and it was surprisingly comfortable), the total exhaustion, the need to wear comfy clothes and the totally ridiculous nausea just to tie it all together in the perfect little package of ” making a baby is HARD”.  I’m here to tell you it does get easier and that soon you will feel like your old self again ( Hello, Second trimester).

I managed to make all the symptoms of the dreaded first trimester as easy as possible by making little changes that made all the difference, and I don’t think its fair to keep it all to myself.  So here is my top ten tips for surviving the first trimester, or making it a little easier.

SURVIVING THE FIRST TRIMESTER OF PREGNANCY

Surviving The First Trimester of pregnancy

  1. Coconut water: Staying hydrated is really important during pregnancy and coconut water seemed to just make me feel so much better.  Loaded with potassium and electrolytes it even gave me the tiny energy boost I needed and it just tasted so much better than actual water to me.
  2. Rest:  When you have time just take naps, even if its a quick car nap during your lunch time. You’re growing a human its hard work don’t feel bad, you will regret not taking those naps when the insomnia kicks in later in your pregnancy.
  3. Eat often:  Yes, it seems like the worst idea ever, but every time I got hit with nausea it could have been prevented with just eating something.  I realised just because I don’t feel hungry doesn’t mean I’m not hungry.  Eating small meals made the nausea bearable and made me feel human.  Find the meals that don’t repulse you and nibble on that.  I made a whole meal, only to throw the entire thing away, because I couldn’t stand the look and smell of it.  Give yourself a break and eat what you can.
  4. Healthy treats: Try not to go overboard with your cravings, its probably the things that are making you feel sick.  Find healthy sugar free recipes and make yourself a treat that’s actually good for you, but if you’re really craving something and you cave, don’t beat yourself up!
  5. Ginger: Ginger is a lifesaver during the first trimester, it helps with nausea and can be taken in so many different forms.  Throw fresh ginger in your smoothie, make ginger tea, drink ginger ale or just have a ginger candy.  The possibilities are endless.
  6. Exercise: The last thing you want to do is exercise, I know, but exercise really helps fight fatigue and the good old first trimester blues.  Get active! Go for a quick walk around the block or go for a hike, but if you really can’t even think about exercising, just remember that’s what the second trimester is for.
  7. Prenatal Vitamins: when you’re feeling so blah and all you’ve eaten the whole day is crackers, having taken your prenatal vitamins makes everything better during the first trimester, it gives baby all he or she needs and gives you ease of mind.  Find a prenatal vitamin that works for you.
  8. Protein: Getting enough protein in pregnancy is very important and when you’re not feeling your best it can be really hard.  Drinking my protein shake will give you that boost you need, and because its a thinner shake you don’t have to worry about the consistency making you gag.  If you can’t drink a shake dip your crackers in peanut butter or have a handful of nuts during the day.
  9. Snacks: Keep snacks with you at all time!  Even when you don’t think you will be out for that long, having something to snack on really helps prevent nausea.
  10. Just go with:  This is an exciting new phase of your life if its your first baby or your fifth it doesn’t matter every pregnancy is different so find out what works for you, keep your stress levels down and just go with it!

I hope these tips and tricks can give you the little boost you need!

an instant of life captured for eternity

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^^ Surprise beach days.  Clear blue water in between the mountain.

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^^ We weren’t dressed for the beach at all!

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^^Trying to flatten my wind swept hair.

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^^ Morning hikes.  No time for make up when you need to get hiking.

 

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^^ Pretty little flowers on our hike.

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^^ We are moving at the end of this month, but that didn’t stop me from getting this sweet little bassinet.

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^^ Lots of surfers….Not a lot of waves…

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^^ I kept running around trying to find a perfect sized rock, Carl kept screaming after me to stop running.

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^^ Flowers on the beach.

Hello friends! How was your weekend? We had a very active weekend of hiking, ocean time and getting some stuff for our baby.  We’ve been trying to get a hike in every weekend and seeing how far we can go before my insane need to pee starts to kick in.  Every weekend we get a little further and every return I tend to almost run home to the comfort of the loo.  On Sunday we had big plans to go to this specific picnic area, but after getting lost, not being able to find a loo ANYWHERE, we somehow ended up driving along the ocean on the most magical ocean drive ever!  Sometimes the things that aren’t planned work out even better.  All the wild flowers all around the Cape has made even the most mundane tasks amazing.

I like long walks on the beach / West Coast National Park

The west coast national park is just a quick hour and a half drive away from Cape town central and oh, so amazing.  We  decided to go for a weekend adventure and see what all the talk is about with the spring flowers and we were surely not disappointing.  During flower season the whole park is filled with wild flowers all over,  if your heaven is a flower covered paradise I bet you will think you died and went to heaven, but today’s post is not about the flowers, I wish it were, I just can’t get all those flowers out my head, but its about the amazing beaches in this park.  When people say they like long walks on the beach, they must be talking about west coast national park?  Walking on long stretches of deserted beaches with the gentle waves lapping at your feet will make anyone a romantic.  I felt like I was in a romantic novel walking on the beach while holding Carl’s hand.

Next time I think we will definitely make a weekend trip and stay at the park, there is just so much to do and not enough hours in one day to fully experience this park, especially when you forgot to fill the car up with petrol/gas and you don’t know if you will ever make it out of the park.  Don’t worry we found a gas station.  I took a little piece of the park home with me thanks to the ridiculous amount of beach sand that was leftover in my shoes,  once you get sand in your shoes you will never get all the traces out again.  Now, I carry little pieces of the park with me every time I lace up my trainers.

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^^ leave behind only footprints.

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^^ Carl had a lot of things in his hands, that’s how this semi formal photo happened.

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^^ How can you not be mesmerised by the ocean with a view like that.

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^^ So many footprints, but we didn’t see any people.

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^^ Baby’s first beach trip?

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^^ even the sunlight was magical.

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^^ Seagull….always such posers.

Iron Rich Gingerbread Overnight Oats – Breakfast of champions

I’ve got a confession to make…. I hated overnight oats the first couple of times I made it, but I’ve never actually been much of an oatmeal fan.   The texture of overnight oats just made me hate it so much, its just so chewy, like eating raw oats, but I really wanted to create a quick breakfast I could just throw together in a jar and forget about until morning.  So in came my trusty stick blender,  I decided to try roughly blending up the oats to create more of a smooth porridge instead of the chewy cold mess.  To my surprise it turned out amazingly,  definitely one of my favourite breakfasts that I’ve ever made, even Carl loves it and he’s not much of a breakfast guy.

I’ve been trying to get my nutrients from food instead of just supplementing the whole time, my blood work Iron levels actually came back great so obviously I’m doing something right.   Iron plays an important role in the body and helps carry oxygen around in the body.  During pregnancy you need twice the amount of Iron you would normally need, the reason Iron is so important for you during pregnancy, is because your body has to make twice the amount of blood for you to support your growing baby.   Helping you feel less tired during pregnancy and preventing your baby from being born to small or too early.

This oatmeal is nutrients powerhouse filled with black strap molasses that contains nutrients, b vitamins and is filled with Iron.  Oats, which controls your blood pressure and releases energy slower, keeping you fuller for longer.  Chia seeds which contains omega 3’s, protein, fibre and calcium.  Ginger that will keep your nausea at bay.  Remember to eat this with vitamin c rich fruit so your body will absorb the iron better.

GINGERBREAD OVERNIGHT OATSserves 1

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Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup of rolled oats, blended with a stick blender
  • 3/4 cup milk ( any milk you like)
  • 2 tsp chia seeds
  • 1 tbsp black strap molasses
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 3 dates chopped

For serving

  • Sunflower seeds, flax seeds, yogurt and a vitamin c rich fruit

Directions

In a seal-able jar add the oats, milk chia seeds, black strap molasses, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and dates.   Shake well or stir until everything is combined.  Seal the jar and refrigerate overnight.

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The next morning open your jar to the wonderfulness that’s inside, if its a little bit thick add more milk.  I usually don’t sweeten it, but if you like a sweeter taste add sweetener of choice.  Scoop into bowl, add fruit, seeds, yogurt and enjoy! Easy as can be!

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24 Weeks Baby Bump / Baby #1

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This pregnancy has been surprisingly good to me, knock on wood.  I wasn’t completely bowled over with nausea in the first trimester, don’t get me wrong I had some nausea, but it wasn’t that bad, it was nothing eating a snack couldn’t fix.  I’ve gotten heartburn once, hated that hour so much that I decided no more and fixed it with diet.  I’ve been exercising regularly, and that’s helped me feel, oh so good and I’ve only been eating healthy meals.   What you put in you get out!  The only symptom I’ve had recently was actually last night, I was lying on my back for too long and my blood pressure dropped, causing me to have a whole lot of the nausea and dizziness, after sitting outside for a bit it soon passed, but man did it feel bad!

24 weeks pregnant

It felt like the baby had a growth spurt this week and I finally popped!Maybe now people will stop loudly talking and pointing at me saying that I look bloated….I’m growing a human!  Speaking about growing a human, this baby sure likes kicking me, the only time baby A stops is when Carl tries to feel, this baby really likes making me look like a crazy person.  Being constantly kicked from the inside sure is something else.  So far everything looks good with baby and me, so good in fact that I finally found a pair of maternity skinny jeans that doesn’t fit like a sack.  I can only thank H&M for the gloriously wonderful pants they’ve created! Thank you!

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Highlights of this pregnancy so far:

  • Seeing the baby on the ultrasound and finding out everything is A okay with baby.  It was such a touching moment and I really thought I wouldn’t have much emotion, but boy did it tug at my heart string, Seeing our active little baby just swimming around trying to escape being viewed was the best moment so far.
  • Feeling the baby kick.  I’m not sure if baby A loves classical music or hates it.   I get kicked a little harder every time I play classical music.
  • Feeling healthy and fit, being grateful to my body for growing this little life and doing such a good job so far.
  • Seeing how excited and happy Carl is when he talks, feels or looks at the scan photo.  I’ve never seen him this happy before!  He even has the scan photo as his phone background.
  • Getting everything ready for the baby.  We finally found a new place and we are moving into it in October! We are really excited to get it baby ready!

 

 

an instant of life captured for eternity

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^^ Flower season is here!  During August and September the Western Cape is alive with the most beautiful flowers.  Fields of flowers!

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^^ Traffic jam! All because of this little guy, who was surprisingly fast.

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^^Happy to see all the flowers.

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^^ Standing in a field of wild flowers is amazing! Hence, the excited look on my face.

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^^ We decided to try the shipwreck hike….We never made it to the shipwreck..It started feeling horror movie-ish when we saw 3 dead seals, 1 dead penguin and a sand castle embellished with bones….

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^^ When people say they like long walks on the beach, I guess they’ve never been surrounded by so much dead.  Carl still looks good on these sandy white beach.

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^^ Baby skinny jeans, because if you’re not going to shove your baby into the cutest little skinny jeans ever created, what kind of parent are you? Baby skinnies from H&M.

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^^ We got our first set of cloth diapers, I also realised that I might be a nightmare.  My sister asked me what if I have a boy and I responded by telling her color does not define gender and my child will not grow up in a hateful environment, where inappropriate comments create a confusing environment.  She stopped speaking to me after that.

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^^ Walks on the beach.

Flower season has hit Cape town! This might be the most beautiful time to be in Cape town, all the wild flowers are popping out all over and we couldn’t wait to go check out the West coast nature reserve!  It was the most incredible experience ever being surrounded by so many colorful flowers, walking along deserted beaches and worrying that we were going to run out of petrol/gas! We forgot to fill the car up and the reserve was way bigger than we expected.  We started stocking up on baby things, like wet wipes, diaper liners, cloth diapers and all those wonderful things, we are starting to have quite a haul! 

This weekend was really exhausting and I feel like I’m still recovering from it, being out till 7 o clock at night is just crazy to us now! #oldpeopleproblems   How was your weekend?