‘Pips’ Nursery Reveal

One of my favourite parts about having kids (I sound like Octomom) is being able to plan their rooms. I hate anything that’s too ‘themed’ and tend to go with a feel, rather. Carter’s room was grey and navy and because it had more room and space, I could do so much with it. When it came to putting Pip’s nursery together, I really battled. Not only is the room tiny but there is zero wall space, so it was trial and error trying to get everything we needed in there. I always wanted a bight, cheerful tropical nursery, and never realised just how popular the trend would become! Nevertheless, my love for flamingos trumped my disdain at being sucked into a trend, and I persevered. Although it’s not perfect, I am really happy with the room and how it’s come together. Its bright, light and calm, and already smells so damn good.

All of the furniture is a hand me down from Carters room (and several other babies before him!), the side table was one I found in the garage and repainted. The shelves are from @Home, the art is from Shutterstock, the painted flamingos were done by me and my moms friend. The cube shelves are Mr Price and the flamingo was a gift from a friend. I’m waiting on 2 more special items – a mobile lovingly and painstakingly being made by my mom and a delicious monster printed muslin blanket that I eventually caved on and bought online.

The nappy bag is also Carter’s (yes, he had a girlie nappy bag!) from Lou Harvey, the bottles I will be using are all from Nuk and the dummies I’m going to be trying out are from Nuk, Tommee Tippee, Doddle and Co and Avent. I’m not taking any chances that she will be a fan of those hideous honey dummies her brother (still!) adores.

Now just to pack hospital bags and I’ll be (almost) ready for her arrival.


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Brace Yourself. School Holidays Are Coming.

Yesterday was day 1 of school holidays. I was working from home as I had taken a days leave to photograph at a birth, but it all happened so quickly that I was home by 8:30 and decided to just work from there instead of heading into the office.  Every year Carter’s school closes for the full month of December, and like every other parent out there, I shit myself. 30 days is a very, very long time for a small human to be at home. Lord, coming out of a long weekend with a kid feels like a scene from Braveheart.

This year we have had to hire full time a nanny just so she can watch him for one month of the year (most expensive salary, ever, right?). She started with us a few months ago and is absolutely fantastic, so I am feeling slightly better about leaving him alone as she’s great with him, and he simply adores her. But still, she could be Chicco the Clown made of actual ice-cream and he would still get bored after a month.

Yesterday was hectic. I take my hat, and all other items of clothing, off to stay at home moms. As for creche teachers? My god, they should be paid in Bitcoin and rainbows. Apart from trying to work and get my job done I was also trying to entertain a very busy, very active and very bored toddler. We filled his pool and swam, we cleaned the big pool we swept and mopped and scrubbed. We puzzled and read books and made dinosaurs out of playdoh. I took him to the shops to get baking ingredients and then we mixed and battered and rolled and cut out intricate Reindeer shapes and then decorated those and then we showered together because we both looked like a unicorn had sharted food colouring on us and then we cooked supper and ate fruit and fed the birds and played with the dogs and spoke about ‘Chippy’ our Elf On The Shelf and built pillow forts. And then it was only 6pm and I felt as f I had been hit.by. a.bus. What made it even harder was that his usual 2-3 hour nap just did not happen, so that felt like another eleventy hundred hours to fill.

And flip, after he went to bed and I cleaned and got back to my study and worked some more, I reflected on what a flipping fun day it was with my son. Fun, but not something I can repeat daily. Sorry, new nanny.

So now, back at the office until Christmas I’m in a slight state of anxiety about how I’m going to fill his time until 2018. I know I may sound like one of those moms who’s kid cant entertain himself, but its more just trying to keep his busy brain and body stimulated enough so that he’s tired enough t fall asleep at night. The biggest issue is that I’m not home and Kelly, our Nanny, cant really do much with him apart from in the house.

I popped over to the Crazy Store earlier and bought my body weight in arts and crafts supplies, playdoh, paper, paint and pencils. But let’s be realistic, that’s going to cover him for 2, 3 days tops.

Help, moms. What are your holiday solutions for keeping kids busy? Would love for you to share them in the comments section, and perhaps you will also be helping a fellow bewildered mom with some fun activities to do with their kids (or, for someone else to do, because, grown-ups have jobs) over the holidays.

PS – No moms were harmed (too much) on day one of school holidays.

‘Honest Dad! All I said was school holidays!’


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Making Our House A Home

When we bought our current house, 3.5 years ago, it was love at first site (see what I did there?). Sure, it wasn’t perfect, but it looked and felt like it could be our forever home. And it still is, but like every romance, the early days are very rose tinted and you can see no flaws, or in my case, floors.

Not long after moving in I began to realise that we had a fundamental problem on our hands. The flooring of the house was dog shit ugly. Mismatched pink glossy and matte terracotta tiles, broken grouting and jut plain ugly. No matter what I did decor wise, it was basically lipstick on a pig.

When I was pregnant with Carter we redid his bedroom floor and it became the nicest room in the house. I began to hate my flooring, it was cold, unattractive, pink and kitsch.

I started whining about the need for new flooring, and the more I whined, my husband, who quite frankly has the same interest in decor as he does in the Kardashians, would roll his eyes and just tell me to be patient. I also really never thought that we would be able to afford renovations. People who do are clearly laundering money or prostituting themselves. We seemed to be living month to month and I couldn’t fathom the idea of how we would ever save enough to actually fix the problem.

When I took on a second job, I knew it would be demanding, but I also knew it would financially free us up somewhat. Unfortunately, there aren’t enough photoshoots in the word that can cover all the work we needed to do, especially with my time frame (“before we have another baby”) and so we did the only logical grownup thing; We maxed out our bond. I’m telling you this, because I’ve spent the last 15 years of my adult life scratching my head and wondering how people afford nice things. I hate the shadiness of some people when they just wont tell me how they make it work. Even worse, when people are sponsored by the bank of mom and dad and then pretend it’s all their doing. So yes, peeps, our renovations are courtesy of Standard Bank and our 3 job incomes. And those random R2 coins I find in couch cushions. You’re welcome.

So, after 3.5 years of waiting and saving and praying and drinking, we started our renovations today. I am so excited I could platz. (Remind me of this joy in 2 months time when I’m sneezing dust and have no where to live, k?)

Some of the work we are doing includes finally knocking through to the cottage on the property which has been a glorified storeroom since we moved in, and turning that in to our bedroom. Redoing all three bathrooms, re-flooring the whole house (Oh yes, no more pink beauty), updating the kitchen, the patio, the jungle gyms and the garden and adding a playroom/photo editing study for me.

I think I just wee’d a little bit.

Someone ased me if I would be sharing the before and after pics, and as mortified as I am to show you all the existing tiles, I think I have to. And as someone else pointed out this morning: “The worse the before, the better the after”

So, the blog might deviate slightly from babies and booze to home stuff and decor, my other love. I’m going to be sharing and recommending suppliers as well as progress pics along the way.

So, cheers to our little family as we break new ground and begin turning our house into a home.

PS – To confirm just how excited I am, this is a photo of me and 2 taps. Because they’re bronze, and beautiful and ohmygodimfinallyredoingmyhome.

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Crushing on 22 Months

There are some days of being a parent where I wonder what the hell I’ve gotten* myself in to, and other days where it’s decidedly the absolute best thing I have ever done. I’ve had one of those days-turned-weeks recently, and I don’t know if it’s because I’ve bred a #LegendChild or because he’s at a certain age, but my little human has hit champion status, and I am absolutely loving him at the moment (not to say I don’t ever love him, but he’s just even more awesome than normal lately.)

Here are a few reasons why i’m totally crushing on 22 months.

  • He can understand, comprehend and communicate. Have you ever heard a parent say to their small child “I am so proud of you“? I remember hearing moms say it and I would puke a little bit in my mouth every time. What the actual fuck could you be proud of in a toddler? Proud that they didn’t shit their nappy? Proud that they didn’t have a tantrum? Proud that they were beginning to look like small adults? I totally get it now. When your child gets to the age where they mimic, talk, learn, copy empathise and communicate, when they start acting out instructions and learning routine and doing clever things like acknowledging life, you actually think your heart might explode from the proudness. I promise. It’s real. So don’t mock charge next time you hear a mommy coo’ing over their child’s seemingly mundane behaviour, because your kid learning to put a lid back on a toy, unplug the bath, wipe up a spill, tell you who their best buddy is  or hand you a steak knife that you’d accidentally left on their plastic dinner plate (not my proudest moment) without slicing their arteries open, is pretty much the equivalent of them bagging an MBA or receiving a job offer from Richard Branson.
  • They can be bribed. Which means resisting a nappy change can be halted in one fluid sweep with the simple threat of confiscating their dummy. Giving them medicine can be easily done with the promise of a sweet (or a raisins in my sons case) afterwards. Suddenly, every day goods become bartering gold mines. As long as the bribery object in question is treated with excitement and an air of pricelessness, your child will want it, and therefore will do everything to get it.

“Carter, if you don’t stop shouting I will not let you hold this plastic comb!”

  • They do things that are hilarious and video-worthy. Like the day my son learnt to say the word ‘fuck’, see below. It is both my most and least proud moment.

(I wasn’t going to share this as we had just returned home from overseas, my house is in shambles and I still have those nightmare inducing pink tiles, but hey, what the fuck right? PS – any flooring companies out there willing to do a makeover in my home? Let’s chat.)

  • They travel well. You may or may not know that we recently returned from a week away in Mauritius (blog post on that coming soon!)  and despite the “are you batshit crazy?!” comments from other moms who couldn’t believe we would be travelling with a kid under 2, he was better behaved than most of us. He even travelled well on an aeroplane, which may or may not have had anything to do with the ice cubes he was sucking from my breakfast GnT.


  • They can be trained. I may have lost a set of crystal goblets along the way, but my son can now bring me a glass of wine and replace said empty glass on the table when I’m done. I mean, if that alone isn’t worth having a kid, then I don’t even know what is.

*Dad, if you’re reading this, then yes ‘gotten’ is a word and no, I shall not replace it with something more satisfactory.

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A Farmyard Themed First Birthday Bash

We all know my day job is Digital Account Director, and my fantasy job is party planner, right? Well, it’s true. So with Carters first birthday on the horizon I decided to put my hobby to good use and plan him a little farm themed birthday bash at our house this past weekend.

I had the best and worst time making all the decor and baking everything. I say worst because it took forever, and best because, well LOOK AT IT 😉

Thanks Pinterest for the sheep and pig cupcake ideas!


Luckily Im a massive hoarder so I used old formula tins which I wrapped and decorated, bread boards, platters and containers I had lying around. I also bought a lot of stuff from China Town – like paper lanterns, plates, napkins straws and bottles.

The harvest table


9 months of Carter, and as my husband so delicately put it: “Glass bottles for small children, fucking smart”.


The kiddies eating area



They look more like ‘Angry Birds’ than chickens…but I decorated paper lanterns to make farm animals…sort of. 



Let’s talk about the cake, shall we. I have never baked more than a vanilla sponge, but was adamant that I would make a 3 tier monstrosity that I found on Pinterest. So I did. It may have taken me close to 20 hours, but the result as SO worth it… and the cake was delicious to boot. I did have some help the day before when two friends came over to help me ice and assemble… and drink several litres of wine in the process.



Boys will be boys. My dad and Carter having a blast on the jumping castle. 




Little farm dudes all dressed up 




The jumping castle we hired came with a free Granny and her assortment of small children












I scattered hay bales around the garden, and covered them in hessian and checkered fabric. 






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Baby Rankin Room Reveal

One of the most exciting things about having a baby is knowing that you get to create a space, just for them, in your home.

I have never been one for ‘themes’ and always envisioned a calm, neutral and tranquil space… which mean that the 1980 pink terracotta floors that came with the house had to go! Working in client service, I get paid in smiles (and the occasional pat on the head) so sadly the budget wasn’t there to re-floor the entire house, but we did manage to save enough to put laminate flooring down in the guest bedroom and study (turned nursery).

It made a massive difference!

Floors before


We inherited some pre-loved furniture – a cot and compactum – which, after serious amounts of elbow grease, sanding, priming and painting look almost brand new.

Being the frugal DIY’er I am I made the mobile and my hubby applied the stickers to the walls.

I sometimes wondered if this room was ever going to come together, and even though there are still some things left to do it’s pretty much complete and I just adore it.

Walking around the room last night to take photos I said to the husband “It still feels like something is missing…” to which he replied “Yes, a baby”

So, minus 1 x baby, I present to you #BabyRankins nursery:

IMG_4599 IMG_4602 IMG_4598 IMG_4597 IMG_4586 IMG_4587 IMG_4589 IMG_4590 IMG_4591 IMG_4584 IMG_4578 IMG_4577 IMG_4575 IMG_4574 IMG_4570 IMG_4569

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It's Our House-Baby!

In January of this year Barry and I decided that 2014 was the year we would buy a house. Not a cluster in a complex, a house house, with rambling gardens, DIY and fixer upper opportunities, a pool, a covered patio and room to run around. A few large trees were also a plus. We gave ourselves a year and our deadline was Christmas time – so we could have people round in groups, and not invite them Noah style – in groups of two’s.

We told everyone about this house, we stared lovingly at the sales brochure and I spent my days Pinterist’ing imaginary furniture into rooms that did not belong to us. We decided (despite the slight over-budget part) that we would make an offer.

To cut a long story short (cue offer being accepted, then lost, then accepted again, The current house we owned that needed selling, sold, then lost, then sold again) we were finally told the place was ours.

You know when new moms say giving birth and looking at your perfect, new infant is the most awe inspiring feeling on earth? Well guys, we gave birth (C section of course) to a one story 3 bedroom child. She’s not new, she’s not perfect, but she’s ours.

Because the folk who bought our house were moving from Durban we had to move relatively quickly – which meant a few months of occupational rent and ‘don’t touch ’till its yours‘ rules. Well today friends, the house was lodged and it is now 100% FNB’s ours.

Cue champagne and excited pig like squeals!

So here she is, our number 73 pride and joy – I cant wait to tuck in, fix ‘er up and make this into a home.

Also, if you’re an out of work landscaper or interior decorator looking for some pro bono work… you know where to come.

(These photos are all taken before we moved in, so yes, we do have furniture and food. And wine, It’s very important to stay hydrated)Image


…And the lived in debt happily ever after!

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DIY: Bird Feeder

I’ve been desperate to put up a bird feeder in our new garden, but couldn’t bring myself to pay a few hundred ronds for something I could easily make myself.

Yesterday – plan free – we were finally able to get stuck in to some work around our new house (I should share that with you too I guess) and so I decided that it was time to make a free standing bird feeder.

Guys, this is so easy and took about half an hour – it also costs next to nothing.

You will need the following:

1.Wood – we got a pine cutoff – and a long thick wooden spoke

2.Long nails (unridged – is that a word?)

3.Wood stain/oil.

4. Ruler and a pencil

5. Something to cut the wood if need be and to shave the pole into a spoke (this is where husband stepped in – so I cant really tell you what he used)

6. Paintbrush

7. Wood glue






We cut the board into our desired size and then cut smaller pieces to create a raised section on the one side – the intention for this was to have the fruit skewers on one side and a deeper section for seed. We don’t want our precious birds food touching see.

The board was then drilled onto the stake and painted with a coloured oil sealant – we chose mahogany purely so we can use the leftovers on our sliding door.




We chose to put the feeder up next to our Pride of India who’s not looking too healthy – hopefully some new chicks will perk him up.


I added fruit and seeds, and voila!




PS – The irony of this entire thing is that a mere 30 minutes later I had about 15 birds eating the seeds I had just planted in my herb garden on the other side of the house.

Sigh. Birds be crazy.


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A Pink and White Themed Baby Shower

So we all know that one of my favourite things in the word to do is plan a party – and after our wedding my fingers were itching to get crafty and creative again. Luckily my sister in law Bev is very close to popping out a baby girl and so a pink and white themed baby shower was in order!

The theme of “Baby Raisins”(Name to be revealed) room is “Tatty Bear” – so the decision to have the same theme for the baby shower was a no brainer.

I decided to paint her a Tatty Bear for the baby room:


The Baby Shower was scheduled for a Sunday morning – and as with most events I decided to make use of my parents gorgeous garden. I hate being restricted by venues and their rules and food – so this was the perfect choice. The day started out very rainy and overcast but thankfully the sky cleared and the sun came out to play.

The guests were also all asked to wear a touch of pink, grey or white.

Here are just a few things I did decor wise. A huge thanks to Bevs bestie Lauren from the UK who brought out a bunch of Tatty Bear themed goodies – as well as pink MnMs (apparently they have a 4 storey MnM store close to them…jellies much?)

Balloons on the deck
Balloons on the deck

I bought tons of pink and white sweets and filled all my old jars and containers (some call me a hoarder, I call it up-cycling) and used these as the centerpiece for the table.

Pink sweets
Pink sweets
Pink and White Sweets
Pink and White Sweets
Pink and White Sweets
Pink and White Sweets


Thanks for the cake pops Welly – YUM!


I looked everywhere for pink and white popcorn boxes with no luck – so eventually settled on those grey toasted sarmie bags – you know the ones you used to get at the school tuckshop? To brighten these up a bit I made small little ‘Ready To Pop’ (get it?) labels which I stuck on – these were then filled with salt and vinegar popcorn. (Side story – the night before as I was making all this popcorn I had a few girlfriends round for drinks… things got pretty out of hand and I think for every bowl of popcorn I made, we ate 3!)

"Ready To Pop" Popcorn
“Ready To Pop” Popcorn

The food was all delicious and a huge thanks to my mom in law and Lauren’s mom in law for the platters as well as Maureen – ‘The Cake Lady’ for the awesome cupcakes and Tatty Bear cake – genius!

Tatty Bear Cupcakes
Tatty Bear Cupcakes
Tatty Bear Cake
Tatty Bear Cake
The Table
The Table

For the drinks I filled small glass bottles with berry juice and made little labels which I glued on. Finished with a pink and white straw these were a really cute welcome cocktail for the guests.

Consol Bottle Cocktails
Consol Bottle Cocktails
Consol Bottle Cocktails

I thought a cute keepsake for the mom-to-be would be a fingerprint from each of the guests. I decided to draw the outline of a Tatty Bear on a canvas square and the fingerprints would then become the balloons. I joined these up and it turned out quite nicely.

Tatty Bear Fingerprint Painting - Before
Tatty Bear Fingerprint Painting – Before
Tatty Bear Fingerprint Painting
Tatty Bear Fingerprint Painting
Tatty Bear Fingerprint Painting
Tatty Bear Fingerprint Painting
Tatty Bear Fingerprint Painting - After
Tatty Bear Fingerprint Painting – After

To make the photo booth I brought a plastic table cloth and cut out coloured hearts to stick on (Confession – I ‘stole’ some paint colour samples from the hardware store in various pinks and purples and greys – and think it turned out quite well!). I also brought chalk and chalkboard hearts for the guests to write personalised messages on.

Posing at the photo booth
Posing at the photo booth
Photo Booth Background
Photo Booth Background


To complete the look I strung white lanterns from the trees and roofs and put big clumps of pink and white balloons all over.

Balloons and Decor
Balloons and Decor
Balloons and Decor
Balloons and Decor

We also played ‘The Price is Right” and the gals filled out “Wishes for Baby” cards for Bev and Raisin.

The Price is Right
The Price is Right
Wishes For Baby
Wishes For Baby

Now we sit back and wait for baby to arrive!



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DIY – Study Table From Fuddy To Fab

We all have that room in or house – you know, the one that looks like the application photo for ‘Extreme Hoarders’. For us, that room is the study. For years friends and guests have been convinced that we lived in a 2 bedroom home, as the door was never opened and any mentioned of ‘Ooh whats in there?’ was met with a shove down the stairs for fear they actually dared to venture inside. 

Our study currently houses the following: Two wing-back chairs, all my crafts and wrapping paper, my canvases, paints and art supplies, all our luggage, my winter wardrobe and shoes, my handbags and extra sports gear, a chest of doors (9 of them) filled with sporting gear, a study table, 3 laptops, all our filing, all our books, 2 irons and an ironing board, linen, spare cushions and pillows and about 400 random cables and cords. 

And a partridge in a pear tree.

Kinda like this…


Over December I tackled the study like a 150 kilogram rugby player. I ruthlessly chucked about 3/4 of its contents and cleaned the place out. Look, the room is still fuller than my belly after a beer fest, but at-least there’s space to swing a cat. 

I also took on a DIY project – our old study table was a revolting hand me down and I have always hated. I decided to make this a bit more of a fun room and give it some character. I managed to convince my folks to give me an old rotting dining room table they had been storing, and to let me restore it. 



Step 1. Get table from parents house to my house (Tip – find a father with a 4×4 and trailer)

Step 2. Sand the thing down. (Tip, ask your husband to do this, or get a handheld electronic sander.) Apart from the numbness in your hands that follows for the next hour, it’s fairly therapeutic. ImageStep 3. Prime, prime prime. This table had been sitting outside for about a year and was drier than a Savannah ad by the time I started refurbishing it. I invested in a solid primer which had two purposes – to prevent the paint from ‘leaking’ through and being absorbed by the dry wood and to ensure the paint went on smoothly.


Step 4. Wait 24 hours for the primer to dry. I find wine helps the time pass quite well. (Tip, if you live in a ‘miggie’* prone area like we do, then either do this job inside or accept that you will forever have fossilized insects stuck to your table)

Step 5. Paint. The trick here is to use an enamel based paint (to get that high gleamy shine). I asked the man at Builders Warehouse for ‘Stripper Red’ but ‘Fire Engine Red’ will also do the trick. (Tip, take off your wedding ring, unless you like the look of ‘blood diamond’)

Step 6. Get it into study. Not an easy feat – we eventually managed (after removing half our wall) to hoist it up over our upstairs bedroom balcony. It was worth it – we have a long way to go but our study is finally looking like a part of the house. Who knows, one day we may even leave the door open for guests to actually see!



* For the sake of my 1 international reader, a miggie is a tiny flying insect – smaller than a mosquito or fruit fly. They favour wine glasses (preferable new, full and expensive Merlots) and fruit bowls. 

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