Showered With Love!

It’s less than 3 weeks till the little Miss arrives. I haven’t hit that ‘fukkit‘ stage just yet, but I am getting more exhausted with each passing day. Just 12 more days left of traffic to the office, 5 more shoots (I’ve squeezed in 3 more this week, oops), several more social activities, 2 bags to get packed and one nursery to finish and then it’s baby time!

She has been one spoiled little girl already and I’ve been lucky to have had not one, but three baby showers thrown for me.

I belong to an awesome group of ladies who I met through Carters school. We started a little Whatsapp group 2 years ago, and that WhatsApp group has turned into real, solid and supportive friendships. These girls remember everything from birthdays to anniversaries, are my sounding board and support system and raise me up on days when I cant do it myself.

A few weeks ago they threw me the most gorgeous baby shower breakfast with stunning decor and food and amazing gifts. It was the perfect intimate morning and I am truly grateful for the attention to detail and love that they showered on us that day.

A colleague at my office is also preggie – we are 4 days apart – and 2 weeks ago the company threw us a little surprise shower at an office function. They had arranged the most amazing cake and goodies and it was such a genuine surprise.

Then, this past Saturday, my friends and family threw me the most exceptional tropical themed bash. As you know, I am a sucker for a good attention to detail event, and this was no exception. My current obsession with all things flamingo was carried out to perfection, from incredible cupcakes and lawn decorations to food and decor. Again, this little baby was absolutely spoiled and I lugged home hundreds of amazing things. My biggest issue is going to be finding space for it all!

I am so so lucky to have the friends and family that I do – I feel completely overwhelmed and fortunate to be a part of this village.

I hope my daughter grows up to be just as good as the people I have in my life.

 

Continue Reading

Let The Shopping Fun Begin With Toy Kingdom.

If you are anything like me – still stuck at the office until the 23rd and working frantically until Christmas, then you’re probably also really stressing about how you are going to get everything done in time.

Me. 2 days before Christmas.
Me. 2 days before Christmas.

We went shopping this weekend and fought the masses as we tried to check off a million to-do items from our list. Short of the actual kitchen sink we are almost up to speed on the shopping list. The only person left to buy for is my hubby, but I can throw a pair of running shoes at his head and he will be happy. Sometimes I also throw a pair of running shoes at his head because he’s being an arse, but that’s beside the point.

Unfortunately, trying to find the perfect gift for everyone else, 2 days before Christmas, looks a little bit like this:

gif-2

Luckily, shopping for the littlies will be the easiest thing you need to do this year. Because, let’s face it, they leave us fat, stretchmarked and poor, so splurging on gifts is as much for them as it is for us. If you are stuck with all the amazing choices this festive season, you can choose from the Festive Season gift guide in-store and on the Toy Kingdom website or get a Toy Kingdom gift card.

We headed off to Toy Kingdom in Sandton City a few weeks ago and my jaw literally hit the floor when I saw the goodies on display. When I was a kid my folks tied some ribbon to a stick and that was my entertainment. Growing up on a farm was tough, guys.

Carter, on the other hand, has no idea just how lucky he is. Going into Toy Kingdom to buy him a present brought back childhood memories of birthing sheep and said ribbon on sticks, and a definite lack of toy store visits, so I really had to hold myself back from buying everything I wanted (A Furby Connect and everything Barbie) and I had to rationalise (read: wrestle him away) with the husband that a Gold Hoverboard was probably a little bit too advanced for our clumsy 19 month old). Eventually we settled on something to keep help with his creativity and hand eye co-ord – so a mega-pack of ‘Bunchems’ it was, as well as something to bring out on special occasions – and something that will hopefully stop him stealing my iPad and lowering my street cred points on Youtube – a LeapPad Tablet. Then we got him something to wrap and open in a few years time – a Meccano 5 Model set car.

bunchems leappad-epic meccano

So basically, Carter is going to be living his best life come 25 December.

gif-3

It may sound like all fun and games but I have to be honest, choosing age appropriate, quality presents was actually very stressful. Barry at that stage was lost in a toy truck aisle and no amount of whistling for him could get his attention. Luckily I had the most awesome shop assistant helping me – he even went to far as to unpack several boxes of things for me to have a proper look.

I would highly recommend Toy Kingdom – there is something for everyone, and if they had top open up a wine bar next to the Build-A-Bear section I suspect I would never leave.

I can’t wait to share photos of Carter opening up his pressies on Christmas. For now they remain safely wrapped and tucked under the tree.

You can find Toy Kingdom in Jozi Town opposite Clicks in Sandton City or in Cape Town, Shop 407 in Canal Walk.

If you are really pressed/stressed for time then have a look at their ‘Top 50 gift guide‘. It helps to whittle down your choices and guarantees a great buy. It’s what we used – along with recommendation from in-store staff – to decide on what to buy. Pop in to their store and tell them I sent you – then share your purchases with me here or on their Facebook page.

PS – Next year I’m going back for a Furby. I don’t care what anyone says

PPS – I’m also going back for a Gold Hoverboard. Don’t tell my husband.

ABOUT TOY KINGDOM:

Toy Kingdom is Africa’s most loved toy store with 14 retail stores nationally, offering the latest and most recognised toy brands to families. Toy Kingdom brings together unrivalled quality toys, beautifully designed stores and friendly and knowledgeable staff who encourage children and parents to interact and play with the toys. Each store is designed not as a retail space but rather around the concept of play, creating a unique in-store experience of ‘toadally’ charming fun.

Continue Reading

My January Must Haves

15 days into the year and we are all officially in the swing of things. Work is manic, schools are full and our roads are saturated with already-frustrated drivers.

One of the good things about a new year – apart from attempting almost impossible resolutions – is testing out new products and items. This January has seen me using, reading, watching, listening and doing some new things.

Here is my top 10 must haves of January 2014.

1. MAC Extreme Dimension Mascara

I love anything MAC and about 90% of my makeup kit consists of their products – their mascara however has always left little to be desired. Until this bad boy came along – it’s so effective (and trust me, when your eyelashes are sparser than a metro cop at a broken traffic light you need all the help you can get!) that people have asked me if I’m wearing extensions. It goes on clump free, its semi waterproof – I know this as I’ve had my fair share of meltdowns wearing it and the packaging is fab! Available for 215 ronds from Macs new online store .

Image

2. Burts Bees Lip Balm

OK, so this isn’t a new obsession. I have been endorsing and promoting Burts Bees for years – in fact it is the only lip balm I will use. Unfortunately it’s not available in SA yet – so if you happen to be traveling overseas… wink wink.

Image

3. Scanner Pro

I’m a bit of an app whore – I download everything and use noting. Until I came across the Scanner pro app for my iPad – and can’t stop using it. We are currently sitting without a printer at our office, and therefore getting documents to clients has been a nightmare. With this bad boy its a matter of using the camera function to scan, saving the document and emailing it. Honestly one of the most useful apps I have come across in ages.

4. Avicii – True

My love affair started with ‘Wake Me Up’ – it became my anthem for every moment in 2013. Currently I’m loving ‘Hey Brother’. If you enjoy a bit o’ country, you will enjoy this new offering from the band.

Image

5. Chef ‘N Veggie Chopper

This was one of those ‘filler’ items on our wedding registry and has now become a daily necessity during cooking time. I love it because it honestly does what it promises – chops and dices in a few blade rotations. Barry loves it because it mimics the motions of starting a lawn mower with its pulley cord. Friends – spoiler alert – you will all be getting one for your next birthday/wedding/batmitzvah or baby shower. You are welcome.

Chef n Chopper
Chef n Chopper

6. Property24.co.za

We were robbed …. again…. on Christmas last year. For us it was the final straw – why live in a security complex when security is clearly lacking? I now spend my free time browsing house porn on property24 and weighing up selling my body for extra cash or robbing a bank in order to afford it. There’s also a property24 app which handy for a techie like me.

Oh, look at ye house I can never afford
Oh, look at ye house I can never afford

7. Dexter

Never has murder been so attractive. We watched Series 1 through 7 in about 2 months towards the end of last year. To say we are obsessed is an understatement. I need Season 8, in my life, right now.

Nothing like a good cuppa kill to start your day
Nothing like a good cuppa kill to start your day

8. The Night Circus

I’ve just stared reading this book after rave reviews from everyone I’ve spoken to. I have no idea what happens or what its about. All I know is that I’m loving it. Also, magic.

The Night Circus
The Night Circus

9. Online Shopping

I swore to myself I would find a better work life balance in 2014. One of the things Im doing to help with that is try and do most of my shopping online. 3 of my faves? Mr Price (delivery in 24 hours) Pick n Pay and Yuppie Chef. Sorted.

10. Boschendal Blanc de Noir

The weather has been hotter a Pool Party in hell – so red wine most of the times is out of the question. White wine is niiiice but I’m currently loving the slightly off white blush from Boschendal. Ugly new packaging aside, its the perfect sun-downer drink. Cheers

Don't judge this bottle by its cover
Don’t judge this bottle by its cover
Continue Reading

The Rankin Wedding – Love Is In The Details

For the entire year spent planning our wedding I had been dying to blog every single day and share the home made items, ideas and crafts we had been making. The problem was that I needed to keep everything on the DL to ensure a surprise for my guests on the actual day (this is me assuming my friends even read this blog, but nonetheless). I’m a firm believer that ‘Love is in the Details’ and wanted to make sure that my personal touches were all over our wedding day. I think I achieved it and the feedback received shows me that so many people noticed and appreciated all of the little things we added to #TheRankinWedding.

Apart from using my Pinterest board (also a secret board up until now – enjoy!) for inspiration I also invented a few things which I’m really proud to say have never been done – so when I see them done again I will try to take it as flattery and not be upset that my ideas were stolen 🙂

Here are just a few items that we made for the big day – a HUGE thanks to my mom who never waned from craft duty and my now husband for helping with all the ‘girly’ things with such enthusiasm.

Chalkboards go a long way in adding special messaging to your event – I bought these from Mr Price Home for around R50 a piece. I also found a white paint marker which had excellent results – plus it has the benefit of not smudging. You can get these markers from most craft and art stores – and they come in various colours and sizes.

Chalkboard Decor
Chalkboard Decor

I really wanted a fun takeaway for all the guests – so asked my friend Kim to design some ideas I had – I made up 12 different badges and each guest got one on the night. There was even a ‘Rupert Approves’ one – of course!

badge 3

badge 4

badge 1

badge 2

For the actual guest gift we bought 100 lottery tickets and made a ‘slip cover’ for them. You probably can’t see in the pic but they read “Thanks for banking on our love – your attendance tonight means we get 50% of the winnings”. Unfortunately no-ones won anything…yet!

Lotto Ticket
Lotto Ticket

These place-mats were my own idea and I am ecstatic at how they came out. Instead of having separate printouts for the program, menu etc. I combined all the information plus details on the bridal party and a few fun wedding facts onto a disposable place mat. There was even space where we wrote a personal note to the guests. I’m claiming this one as a hit! (Once again, design was put together by Kim)

placemats

I had always wanted our dogs to be a part of the wedding – but having two crazy Boston terriers on the actual day just meant trouble – so I decided to have mini replicas of them made for the cake – they were definitely one of my favourite things on the day!

cake toppers

To give the guests something to do we during cocktail hour, we decided to make individual name tags which doubled up as fridge magnets) which had the guests name and table numbers on them. These we strung onto a tree and guests had to pick their way through the branches to find their name. These took forever to make – my mom, Barry and I had an assembly line and sat for several hours painting, sanding, gluing and tying – getting the tree to the venue and hanging them was also a nightmare but I’m so glad we persevered – it looked stunning!

name tag 2

name tags 1

During the speeches – instead of warm cheap champage we bought several bottles of Don Julio tequila and guests all got a shot for Barrys toast. We had 4 preggy ladies there so they each got a milkshake (Pink for the ones pregnant with girls and blue for those with boys)

76 - Reception

Lastly – I had always wanted to have wedding photos taken with balloons – and so we asked a friend to bring them to the venue for us. Don’t you think the photos turned out well?

balloons
balloons

I may be posting some more pics of the actual wedding soon … watch this space!

Continue Reading

DIY for Party Planners

Ive had the honour (see what I did there?) of being a bridesmaid for several of my lovely friends – and one of the best things about that is knowing that with each bash comes new opportunities to make fun DIY items for the celebration.

I’ve put together large affairs and very intimate ones, and waned to share a few fun DIY craft tips, for anyone looking to throw a bit of a celebration for a bride to be. (Or any celebration really)

(Tip: If you aren’t Photoshop adept, find a designer fined like I did with my colleague Kim, big help!)

Make your own photo booth by pasting wallpaper or wrapping paper on a large flat wall. The one I used below was for a 1950’s inspired party hence the red polka dots. I borrowed the frame from an art gallery and bought props from China Town (budget!). I also supplied a chalk board and chalk for people to write their own messaging.(Board and props not pictured in the image).

DIY Backdrop
DIY Backdrop

For the same party we labelled the various cheeses with wedding themed names (Bridesmaids Brie, Garter Gouda… you get the picture). I also labelled all the wine glasses with fun sayings from the ’50s and the definition. This also helped with people knowing which glass belonged to them. 22 bottles of wine later however, no-one really cared.

Say Cheese!
Say Cheese!
Handmade Wine Labels
Handmade Wine Labels

If you are hosting a smaller gathering, instead of using name tags for the table use a photo of the (insert guest of honour) and all her guests, then prop these on the table using a frame or crocodile clips. What I did with these was add a section on the photo and asked each guest to write a message. The bride-to-be got to take these home as a momento from the night.

Personalised Place Cards
Personalised Place Cards

A fun idea if you are hosting a baby shower is to ask all the guests to bring a baby photo of themselves. The mom-to-be then needs to guess who is who. This can also be used for birthdays or bridal showers. If using it for a birthday – ask the guests to bring a photo of themselves at the age they have known the birthday girl for. She then needs to guess who is in the pic. Failure to do so results in a tequila fine (Really, my favourite party trick!)

Who's the baby?
Who’s the baby?

 

Continue Reading