Intention is an idea formed in the heart
This series is inspired by my personal Intention for 2018. I have spent over a year now working on living life with positive intention and this has involved many hours of research, listening to podcasts and Ted Talks, reading and just really expanding my own world of knowledge and experience. It has had such a phenomenal effect on my life and outlook.
Whether the subject is food, mindfulness, physical health, parenting etc. years of personal study (and experience) have formed each droplet of water that comprises my little fountain of wisdom. I am still constantly learning, always soaking up more information and absolutely loving the exploration.
One of my wishes for 2018 is to share more with my family, my friends and of course my readers, things that I believe will help us live a more beautiful, positive life. Your thinking absolutely creates your reality and it’s so important to love both your body and mind, taking the most special care of both of them in order to be the best you that you can possibly be.
Once you have started with yourself, then you can share it with those around you.
Intention is more than wishful thinking, it’s willful direction.
Looking and feeling healthy
My goals for 2018 with regards to business and development are going to take an immense amount of energy. This body of mine had better be strong and ready for what my mind has planned!
Having my own business does mean having the flexibility to be available for my family when they need me too and this year they are going to have the best me, present and jumping up and down if necessary. Just don’t expect any running! Let’s not cross the line here…
So I am starting with me
And you can start with you, along with me!
This is not about being supermodel skinny or perfectly ripped and toned… that’s not what this is about. This is about realistically, in my lifestyle and with my resources, feeling happy and healthy and being the best ME.
I could stand to lose a little roll or two and after the December splurge I am looking forward to getting back on track!
I like to think that I generally have healthy eating habits and a positive attitude towards food and I instill the same in my family. We eat a good variety of fruits and vegetables, meats and fish. We don’t avoid carbs but I try to include a variety of grains for them and cut out the gluten for myself.
Unfortunately, chronic pain is a part of my life. Fibromyalgia is a disorder associated with muscle, joint and nerve pain as well as severe fatigue, memory problems and a variety of other issues that often make me feel like a really old lady.
Further to that, I also have degenerated discs in my lower back which come with their own special bag of tricks for me.
I take daily medication to relieve the nerve pain and some other symptoms but other than that I prefer to manage the conditions without too much medication.
A critical factor is avoiding inflammatory foods such as gluten, sugar and dairy. I will explore the how’s and why’s of everything in more detail in separate posts.
This healthy eating plan is suitable for everyone and anyone! I am also not advocating any particular “diet”, neither will I call this a diet. It’s a lifestyle change with positive, healthy intention at the core, following guidelines and research that simply make sense – eat good food and stay away from the bad stuff! In a nutshell.
Together with my meal plan and weekly shopping list, it fits seamlessly into a busy family lifestyle.
Meals are flexible and adaptable so that you don’t have to cook separate meals. Recipes are super easy and cooked in a flash! Everything you need to make life less complicated and more delicious.
The main points of my healthy lifestyle plan will all be explained in upcoming posts, but are essentially the following:
- Drink water! 3 litres per day.
- No sugar
- No gluten
- Limited dairy
- Fresh ingredients in their natural form
- Affordable and easily accessible… okay just normal ingredients. I may have the odd chia seed but you won’t find any pea protein powder or kombucha in my kitchen.
- Mediterranean diet – closest to the way my family normally eats and red wine is included!
- Quick, easy, delicious!
- Fibre is essential.
- Omega 3 and Vitamin D supplements.
- Have a treat now and then, be gentle with yourself. Do this because you love yourself, not to punish yourself.
- Stretch, chill, smile!
Some small changes can make a huge difference. I hope you will be joining me on this adventure and more than that, I hope that you will be inspired and that I will be able to add just a teeny tiny bit of value to you.
We’re going to feel positive, eat positive, live positive and love the beautiful life we live.
Remember that Beautiful Intention is not just a healthy diet, it’s a holistic lifestyle focusing on loving yourself (body and mind), your family and the world we all live in and simply loving this beautiful life.
Money, money, money… must be funny…
It’s that fabulous season during which we reflect on the events of the past year, successes and failures, happiness and sadness. Some people set goals and intentions for the future and some take it that one step too far with this silly list of things called New Years Resolutions. I gave that silly list up a long time ago… I am a mom. My goals are simply to keep the little people alive, brush my hair now and then and try not to burn the house down.
Seriously though, it’s not easy having a business, blogging in between, managing school and activities (I’m that mom who needs several extra reminders). Why am I talking about school already? Let me stop right there… I mean, if you enjoy arguing about lunches at 6am, I cannot recommend parenting highly enough.
My point being, with all this going on we still want to find time for entertainment and save money too. Impossible? No!
Here’s the secret to saving a packet of money on restaurants (first and foremost), leisure and entertainment, beauty, retail and even hotels!
It’s a buy one get one free Christmas miracle and it keeps getting better and better. With The Entertainer there’s always something to smile about and so, we were invited along to the Johannesburg launch of the #Entertainer2018 held at Parker’s Comedy Club and had an absolute blast!
We, being myself and SuperDad and about 100 of Joburg’s coolest food and lifestyle bloggers, were treated to a lineup of hilarious comedians, good food and the freshest news about the new app.
With an established footprint from Hong Kong to the UK, The Entertainer has recently added Bali to the list of locations – my bucket list destination just became a little bit closer to reach! The app also tracks your actual savings and the cost of the (teeny weeny) annual fee will pay for itself several times over even if you only use it once a month.
Sounds like a great deal to me! SuperDad may even be persuaded to go and eat at an outside establishment occasionally…
Thanks to The Entertainer for a fabulously fun evening and for many more to come in 2018! Cheers!
These are the big questions in life…
1. What’s for dinner; and
2. What to do with the kids?
I can happily say that I now have the answers to both of those!
The Adventure Clubs app is honestly one of the best entertainment ideas for kids (and parents) that I have seen in a long time. It would take me days to research and come up with half as many fun, educational and interesting things to do with the kids.
Even if I could manage to make a list of fantastic activities, there would be heaps of admin involved in making the arrangements. It would probably be far more expensive and I wouldn’t have any idea what the quality of the experience would be, whether it’s safe or not and trying to figure out friends’ schedules to go in a group is a nightmare on it’s own…
Adventure Clubs has a huge selection of super adventures for all kids between ages 6 months and 10 years of age. From hip hop dancing and baking classes to helicopter flips, there’s something for everyone and when you’re watching your kids make wonderful memories, you will definitely enjoy sharing those moments with them too!
Every experience is designed by parents, for parents. Well planned and coordinated, the experiences are attended in groups with other parents and children as well as a group coordinator/leader.
Our first experience was at La Cremosa in the Dainfern Square shopping centre, where we got to go behind the scenes inside the gelato “factory”. We were taken through the entire process of making delicious, creamy gelato from pouring the milk all the way through to eating!
My boys really enjoyed every minute of it and got chatting with the friendly staff as well as the other children. Of course their favourite part was the eating!
I could go on and on about the benefits of this concept but it’s really something you just have to go and experience with your family as soon as possible! To give you a push in the right direction, I have one adventure to give away to a lucky reader!
It will be one of your choice, available in Johannesburg, Durban or Cape Town, to the value of R300. All you need to do to enter is to download the Adventure Clubs app easily on either App Store or Google Play, browse the range of experiences and then comment here with your favourite one. Easy as gelato!
Winner will be announced on 5 January 2018. In the meantime, make sure you are following Adventure Clubs on Facebook to see all their great news and of course, follow MammaChef Jozi so that you don’t miss the announcement!
I am so glad that I discovered this before leaving on holiday and we’re definitely making use of it while we are at the coast. When you don’t know the area all that well, it’s not easy to find new and interesting things to do… Adventure Clubs saves the day!
Download and have a look through the Adventure Clubs app and comment on this post (or on the same post on MammaChef Jozi Facebook, Instagram or Twitter). Names will be placed into an online hat and a random winner will be drawn.
The Latest Buzz – Muppie Lounge
Muppie Lounge, #MuppieMummie, Muppie everything and anything that’s funky and chilled and happy! If you haven’t heard one of these terms, you must have been living under a rock. Time to get informed and on trend!
The woman behind this range is an absolutely stunning (inside and out) mother of four little kids, yes you read that right. She designs every adorable character by hand, mostly with charcoal, each one with it’s own story. She chooses the products, manages every single aspect of the business, including the website (online store) and blog. The only part she outsources is the labelling and printing.
Labelling, cutting and sizing is done by a non-profit organisation called Bibi Hearts. Their focus is providing essential items for children with cancer in hospitals and job creation for abused women, the elderly and disabled people. Printing is entrusted to a small business which is close to her heart that also handles the printing for her ministry activities.
The secret ingredient is Love
Just before your item is shipped to it’s loving new home, she takes the time to personally write a postcard.
When your item arrives safely in your hands and you open the beautiful packaging, you can just sense the huge amount of love that went into creating it!
I was fortunate enough to receive my very own Muppie Lounge gifts from the first range – which is the robot range. What made my gift especially special, was that I received an item that isn’t even available to the public just yet! Yes, I can proudly say that MammaChef Jozi is officially the very first owner of a Muppie Lounge Robot Apron! I have also been eyeing the tablecloths and I’m sure more foodie/cooking related items will be added in future.
The tees are really not your run of the mill t-shirts. The styles are feminine and can easily be dressed up or down. As much as she insists that they are casual mom-wear, they really have a sense of chique to them. Of course, we never forget about the little ones. Kiddies can have their own share of the Muppie Love too! Just saying, I’ve received my Christmas packages already… shhhh!
I honestly can’t wait to see what the next range will be. Each customer gets the VIP treatment, but it’s also the creativity, the quality, the passion and the absolute pleasure of dealing with Muppie Lounge that makes me a loyal customer and a proud #MuppieMummie.
The gifts I received as inspiration for this post got me hooked.
Muppie Lounge has a very user friendly, easy to navigate online store. You are able to browse to your delight and purchase safely and conveniently. The deliveries are done in a flash too.
Some of my Muppie Moments and highlights in the gallery below.
Heritage Day – 24 September
The incredible thing about this country and it’s beautiful people, is the huge variety of heritage that we can learn about from eachother. One step further than that, our melting pot has formed such a unique culture that we share as South Africans that I don’t believe exists anywhere else in the world!
This special public holiday is therefore aimed at everyone sharing and celebrating their unique heritage. In the MammaChef household, we truly are not only a modern family, but a multi-heritage family as well!
My father was born in Germany and my grandparents came to South Africa shortly after WW2, when he was a young boy. My mother was born in South Africa, but descended from a mixture of Irish and French backgrounds.
SuperDad’s parents are both from Madeira. Our children therefore have a wonderful, rich mixture of different languages, cultures and food to incorporate into their South African context and share with their friends!
National Museum of Military History
After much discussion, we decided to take a “sho’t left” to the National Museum of Military History in Johannesburg, which is next to the Joburg Zoo. I hadn’t been there since I was very young, in fact I had no memory of what it was like – it was that long ago!
I knew that the boys would enjoy seeing the vehicles etc, but I actually had no idea how much they would love it!
Blake (4) has such a fantastic imagination and can completely immerse himself in little toys and pretend play. He absolutely loved being able to climb on the cannons, see the huge planes, the uniforms and the vehicles. He especially loved playing ship captain on the “deck” of the SAS Tafelberg with it’s huge wooden wheel. For days after this visit, everyone was called “Matey”!
My son Wade, who is 8, really enjoyed the different weapons on display. He asked me to read the descriptions and stories behind certain displays. We noted the distances that the various cannons could shoot at. One item that we found particularly interesting was a small side window from an aeroplane. A bullet hole had gone right through the middle of the glass. It’s displayed in a frame with a black and white photo showing the pilot looking through the little window. He had a huge smile on his face.
We learned that this was a look of pure joy to be alive! The story went that during a battle, a shot went through the window next to his head. His goggles were shot right off his face! He didn’t sustain even a tiny scratch! I’m quite convinced however that he had a new outlook on life from that day onwards!
Not Just Exhibits
After we had taken a walk through all the exhibits, we spent quite a bit of time with the boys on the playground which has an old Jeep and the shell of a helicopter to play on. The adventures took on a life of their own! Mamma and Daddy got to sit peacefully on a bench in the garden and watch the fascinated faces of all the children who were running around having just as much fun.
There is a small coffee shop serving light meals and refreshments. I found that overall, it was very well maintained, clean and safe. All in all a great day out for all of us and something we are definitely planning on taking cousins and friends to in the near future.
On Sunday afternoon I found myself wondering where on earth the weekend went to so quickly? It seemed like I had blinked and it was gone. It was such a lovely weekend though and can only be followed by a very good week.
On Saturday morning we managed to get out to a Parkrun for the first time in weeks. It started off freezing cold but once I got going with some music in my ears to set the pace, I enjoyed it so much that I actually set a personal best time! Of course, on Sunday I was feeling the after effects in my body but it was totally well worth it! Perfect way to walk off the week.
Sunday was an opportunity for SuperDad to get out and play some golf in the morning while we got to hang out with family. My sister in law made the most amazing Feijoada, which is a traditional Brazilian/Portuguese stew made with mainly beans and pork. Served with rice and freshly baked bread rolls, it was just the perfect thing for a winters day.
The happiness advantage
As I spend quite a bit of time in traffic, especially in the mornings, I like to listen to podcasts and TED Talks as a way to keep my mind occupied with interesting, inspirational thoughts and very often learning about new concepts and ideas. I have been lucky in that the right one seems to find me at the right time, rather than me deciding on something and looking for it.
This TED Talk by Shawn Achor – The Happiness Advantage – was the one that found me on Monday morning and it completely set me up for the week. It’s short and to the point, about how positive brains link to better performance and some tips on how to get yourself there. Find twelve minutes for yourself and watch the talk here:
Good grief, it’s Wednesday and I haven’t posted a summary of last week yet! Where does the time go?! Or should I say… time flies when you’re having fun! This is definitely the truth!
Monday: (Meat Free) Zucchini & Mushrooms
Tuesday: Flop Proof Cottage Pie
Wednesday: Chicken, Chickpea & Spinach Curry
Thursday: Pan Seared Fish with Tomato, Basil & White Wine Sauce
Friday: Easy Peasy Gluten Free Chorizo Pasta
Please have a look at my gallery of Sunday’s incredible buffet lunch at Aurelia’s, The D’Oreale Grande Hotel at Emperor’s Palace
The family came together to celebrate my Sister- and Brother-in-Law’s 30th wedding anniversary! A very special occasion celebrating two extremely special people, their exemplary marriage and the beautiful family and memories that they have created. So much love (and so much food)!
This post is inspired by MomofTwoLittleGirls who has asked several parents to open their hearts (and skeleton cupboards) by sharing their shiniest #ParentingWins and scariest #ParentingFails. She also bravely set the example with her own post here.
Several disastrous moments flashed through my mind as I considered which ones I would pick to expose to the world out there. I have had quite a few epic fails and many beautiful wins with my two boys. I’ll start with Wade, being the oldest and I’ll lead with a mommy fail that did not cause permanent damage to either of us…
Let me begin by saying that this boy has the most gorgeous temperament and gentle manner about him. Thinking back to his baby and toddler years, he was generally such an “easy” child but when he did throw a full blown tantrum he really did give it his all!
Wade was somewhere between terrible two and more-terrible three when, one fateful morning, he just simply refused let me dress him. All moms would probably recognise this story, weekday morning getting ready for work and school, possibly already running a little late when playfully asking leads to seriously instructing, leads to desperately pleading, leads to half an hour later, a frazzled (to say the least) mom and a completely out of control kid.
Long story short, I resolve that empty threats will get me nowhere and the time has come to show said toddler that I also mean business! I manage to carry wriggling and loudly protesting little monster, in his underpants, to the car and stuff him safely into his car seat. The next forty minutes in the car to school was spent trying to block out the deafening screams from the back seat, focus on the road and keep some semblance of composure.
There were maybe 5 minutes of silence before we finally made it to the school parking lot. I turn around to said little monster and ask in my calmest mom voice whether he is ready to get dressed as we have arrived at school. A quiet, calculated “Yes.” was the reply. As my luck would have it, this was only the eye of the storm. As I got near his foot with a pair of pants, the kicking and screaming started again and this was when the Mom-bot took over and I just gave up.
In my mind’s eye, I can remember the gate guard silently clearing the way as I walked into the nursery school, Wade wildly flailing around under my one arm and crying bloody murder. I will probably never forget the teacher’s face as she was sitting on a chair in the middle of the classroom. This wide-eyed mother walked straight up to her and the teacher didn’t say a word but just stuck her arms out. The screaming suddenly subsided to a small wail as I handed him and his bag to her, turned around and walked out. I paused outside the door to hear the total silence as he realised where he was and that all his friends were looking at him in his undies. On the upside, there was no permanent damage and this was never repeated again! It did take me quite some time to pull myself together and get myself to work that day.
Staying with Wade, my parenting win story is short and super sweet. It’s more attributable to him that me, but I must have done something right along the way!
About a year ago, I received a phone call from the mom of a girl in Wade’s Grade 1 class. She told me that she just wanted to let me know how he had just made their day. Her daughter had the most beautiful, long, thick hair and just the day before, had decided to trim her ends herself (just a little bit).
As she was telling me this, I had flashbacks to my own attempt at cutting my Barbie doll’s hair and the devastating consequences!
She had made a complete mess of her beautiful long hair and they ended up having to take her to have it all cut into a bob. Both mom and daughter were distraught and when they arrived at school the next morning, after hearing the story my little boy held her hand and said “I don’t really care if your hair is long or short, you’re my friend and I still like you.”
Smiles made and hearts melted. #WIN!
Last week was my own birthday (of course I turned 21 again) and my little Blake turned 4 the day after. On Sunday we had a lovely lunch with family at home and everything conspired perfectly, including the weather, to make for an absolutely beautiful day!
My dearest dear husband, aka SuperDad, makes the world’s best espetada and this has become our “signature” dish when we have the family over.
In summary: good food, good wine, lots of laughter, sunshine and the most amazing people!
My big little boy may be German/South African by blood, but his soul is Portuguese like SuperDad!
Today he played in a junior soccer tournament at the Portuguese Day festival held by Luso Africa soccer club in Germiston. Beautiful sunny winter’s day in Johannesburg, family, fun, pregos and farturas!