30 Years old...

Today is my 30th Birthday.


It doesn't feel like it to be really honest, it just feels like any other day which doesn't bother me at all but I am the sort of person  who likes to write things down on such occasions so I can look back and remember.


My 30th trip around the sun has been the biggest one yet. What with juggling two kids under 3, making a huge life-changing decision to move country, actually moving country, leaving family behind, starting fresh& all the emotions that go with it, dealing with two pretty sick babies for 2.5 months which ended in two tonsillectomies within 4 weeks of each other as well as both of them starting a new school a few weeks ago and having 3 jobs.....let's just say it's been pretty damn hectic. But worth every hard, tearful, challenging and wonderful minute.


We don't make huge deals of birthdays me & Manoj. We never have really. We aren't fussed about cards or expensive gifts. We don't really go out for meals - yup happy to admit that - it's the season we are in and will pass! I thought today I might want a fuss but it turns out I really don't.

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What I did want was only a handful of things:


  1. Lunch with my husband, without the kids. Who has changed his WHOLE life for me to realise my dream. I remember a few times us talking about my 30th Birthday in the past and I said all I wanted was to be living in South Africa for my 30th. How flipping lucky am I that my wish has come true. So eternally grateful to the man in my life who made that happen for me.
  2. A quiet and very good cup of coffee where I can reflect on my life so far, gawd so deep I know, but apparently this happens with age. Reflection allows me to realise all that I have to be grateful for.
  3. Cake, of any form - this is very important and preferably must be chocolate. I'll probably enjoy this with the kids this afternoon.


I feel quite tearful writing this - I wonder why milestone birthdays tend to do this to us? I feel incredibly proud of what I've achieved in my twenties, the most notable include:


I've met and married the man I want to spend the rest of my life with, I completed my degree, we bought a house, I gave up drinking, I've given birth to two beautiful, healthy and awesome kiddos, met life long friends, rekindled friendships and learnt a  lot about myself, life and grown so much because of it. Been on memorable holidays, realised that experiences win over things every time, I've cried, I've laughed and I haven't slept that much - any memory of sleep is a faded one right now. I've made mistakes, I've made hard decisions, I've been wrong and I've been sad. Ive drank myself to rock bottom

and got back up again. I've been depressed and wondered what this whole life is all about. I've been happy and still wondered what this whole life is all about!!


But I think most importantly I've learnt, I've grown, I've enjoyed, I've lived. Some days, shit, even some weeks & months have been hard. Life is hard - it's all about choices and perspective. It's about getting through it and taking something from it and making yourself better because of it.


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Apparently 30 is the age of growing up & letting go of what doesn't work for us anymore. It's usually the biggest change in our lives.  One of my friends sent me this and it's so true and sums it up pretty well.


"I think midlife is when the universe gently places her hands upon your shoulders, pulls you close, and whispers  in your ear:

I’m not screwing around. It’s time. All of this pretending and performing – these coping mechanisms that you’ve developed to protect yourself from feeling inadequate and getting hurt – has to go.

Your armor is preventing you from growing into your gifts. I understand that you needed these protections when you were small. I understand that you believed your armor could help you secure all of the things you needed to feel worthy of love and belonging, but you’re still searching and you’re more lost than ever.

Time is growing short. There are unexplored adventures ahead of you. You can’t live the rest of your life worried about what other people think. You were born worthy of love and belonging. Courage and daring are coursing through you. You were made to live and love with your whole heart. It’s time to show up and be seen.''

Brené Brown


So is turning 30 such a big deal really? 

No not for me.


It's more of an opportunity to say thank you to everyone in my life who makes me happy and take stock of all I have to be grateful for. It's a time to reflect on the good and the bad and take something from those experiences. To say goodbye to my twenties and a big freaking hello to my thirties.


And of course it's good excuse for cake!


Harry: 1 year old

So this is way, way, way late and it hasn't even been on my list of things to do.  That is how chaotic it has been these past few months.  But slowly, slowly things are getting a bit easier day by day.  And while lack of sleep is still a huge thing in my life I had to write this post before another day went by.


Harry turned 1 almost 2 months ago now.  And it feels like yesterday.  Ear infections and tonsillitis have been reeking havoc in our family.  Antibiotics, sleepless nights, crying, more crying, not eating, doctors, more doctors and then finally grommets and two tonsillectomy's are what we have been up to.


But still, Harry manages to smile, dance and be happy for at least part of each day!

My poor baby I think has forgotten what it feels like to be healthy and normal.  To enjoy a proper meal and sleep well.  But we will get there.

We threw a little bash for him at one of the local preschools and celebrated making it through this somewhat eventful, challenging, happy and awesome year of Harry.


Easy Chocolate Chip Cookies

So I have gotten back into full swing with my baking and I am LOVING every minute.  I recently bought a book as a treat by Lisa Clark called "The Cookie Jar" and it says on the blurb at the back: "The Cookie Jar will take you back to the days when baking was therapeutic and an important part of life."


And this just hits the nail on the head for me.  I hadn't baked in nearly 6 months and it really effected me.  Baking is my therapy.  And eating the products are a bonus of course - they get me through the day.  But creating something and photographing it and sharing it with you all really makes me happy.  I love the process.  I love the outcome and I love to share it with my friends. 


Harry: 11 months

Harry my nunu, you are now 11 months old. 


And you are a strong, independent and awesome little dude that knows what you want in life.


Your personality is really beginning to shine through.  You are going to be a little mischievous character, I can just tell.  You love to follow Jack around and immediately light up when we pick him up from school.  You love to watch TV (no shame here on my part), you still love to bath, you enjoy using your walker now and crash into everything with it.


6 years and 1 day

So today, me and Mani realised that our 6th Wedding Anniversary....was yesterday.  We have never missed an anniversary and as soon as he mentioned it to me this evening I remember just as I was falling asleep last night I thought "the 19th was today, why does that date seem so familiar to me....oh yes our wedding anniversary"....and then I think I fell asleep.  I woke up this morning and I totally forgot I had had that thought.  Haha, quite hilarious actually.


We aren't and never really have been the whole card, flowers, gifts type of couple.  It just doesn't bother us.  We would prefer to go away for the weekend or out for lunch or a treat.  So we are not bothered at all.  But wow, 6 years has flown.  I have said this before and I will say it again and again.  Time seems to speed up the older you get.


We are in the thick of parenthood at the moment.  We are lacking sleep, any type of alone time and almost feel like we are just scraping by.  Taking each day as it comes and fighting through it in survival mode.


Healthy Chocolate Rice Puff Squares

So I eat a lot of cake and biscuits. I think that is a known fact if you have been reading my blog for a even short period of time. 

It is how I survive the sometimes long days of motherhood.  Plus anyway - even those who don't have kids - we all love a treat right?


New adventures

Hey!!


Welcome to my new blog and online shop.  I hope you like it!  It makes my heart sing to see something I have been working hard on for such a long time now, come to life.  My website design and logo were designed by a dear friend Lara Designs.  It is beautiful isn't it! 

I am so chuffed.


New adventures.  Don't you love and hate them?  They are so exciting, scary, daunting, awesome and get your brain whizzing.  All these ideas whirling round but the frustration can come in when you don't have enough hours in the day to do your normal stuff plus start up a little business.  But that is what life is all about though - finding the time and working hard.  There is no way round it!  This is the first time in my life where I feel like I am really working my ass off and putting my heart and soul into something.  I know this because I don't get much sleep on a good night (yes, I do moan about this a lot!) but I have been working until about 11pm most night this past week to get things ready and while the days are hard (thank GOD for coffee), I know it will all be worth it!


Harry: 10 months old

Harry my boy it is getting closer and closer to your 1st Birthday.  And you are getting cuter and cuter by the day.  Your inquisitiveness and intelligence never ceases to amaze me.  You love to crawl all around the flat and search for me or Jack if we leave the room.  You ADORE your Daddy and just want to be held by him all the time.


Harry: 9 months old


9 months in, 9 months out.

It feels like I am standing still and I am watching my kids just grow up in front of me.  I want to try slow time down a bit so I can have babies forever but at the same time I want them to reach their milestones and get bigger so I can enjoy and get excited about all the things like crawling, new words and experiences.

This is how I feel especially with my little Harry.  Deep down I know this is our last baby but I never think of any experiences as my last because that will just make me all nostalgic and a bit sad.  Instead I just breathe in every moment.  I soak in every cuddle, kiss and "last firsts".


We are moving to South Africa!

We have some very exciting news....WE ARE MOVING TO CAPE TOWN!!!!  It has all happened quite quickly to be honest and I have been putting off sharing the news in case it all goes wrong but it all seems to be falling into place and I wanted to tell you all.  We had started the process of applying for visas with a immigration consultant when Mani was offered a job.  It was ideal.  He has to start on the 1st May (or before if possible) which is a lot sooner that we thought we would go but we think it is better for all of this to happen quickly rather than it be a drawn out process.  So all being well we will leave the UK mid-April.


Introducing Harry Simon Choudhry

Harry arrived into the world on Thursday 15th October at 10am on the dot weighing 7lbs 12.5oz (3.53kg).  I had to have him 2 weeks earlier than planned but all went well and he is a happy, healthy, loud and content little baby who has stolen our hearts.


6 survival tips for the stay at home mom

Now that I am back at work I find myself thinking a lot about when I was a stay at home mom (SAHM) and I wonder how the hell I did it.  I love Jack to the moon and back but we all know being a parent is a tough gig sometimes.  Going back to work has helped me be me again and have time for myself.  It has given me that slice of independence back and I really love the social aspect of it too.  So I thought I would share what I thought helped me be the best SAHM I could be.  You could call them survival techniques I suppose.  Some days are much easier than others.  Here is what helped me cope:


11 ways to entertain your 1 year old

There are some days when I really struggle being a mom.  Especially if I am tired which is quite often because Jack still hasn't mastered the art of sleeping through.  It has become easier now that I am back at work - writing that makes me feel so guilty but it's the truth.  Jack is at an age now where I can't entertain and stimulate him like I used to.  He needs to be with other kids for longer periods of time plus I need some time to do something with my brain and also have the social aspect of my life back without him & have a coffee without holding a toddler on my hip.


The joys of feeding a toddler

Recently, most meal times are becoming a bit of a chore for us.  Guaranteed if I make Jack something for supper like sausage and mash or pasta or similar (i.e. actually put some effort into a meal) I will put it in front of him or try and spoon feed him and he will flatly refuse it.  He shakes his head vigorously, pushes the plate and spoon away or if he is feeding himself he will look up at me and while maintaining eye, contact drop each piece of pasta or blobs of food one by one on the floor.


My first week as a working mom

So last Thursday I ventured back into the working world.  I honestly didn't give it much thought until last week which I was surprised at because I tend to stew over things and get more and more anxious as the day approaches.


Raspberry Chocolate Mousse Cake

Fancy something a bit special?  Then this is just perfect.  I love chocolate mousse but its quite a faff to make sometimes don't you think?  Especially as I don't have an electric whisk or anything like that.  But I tried this anyways, and I beat the egg whites and cream by hand (with the help of the hubby when I felt my arm was going to fall off).  It didn't take as long as I thought but phew it was hard work.  I think if you had the gadgets to do this, then it would turn out thicker, mine did get thick but as soon as I took it out the fridge it got soft quite quickly.


Afghan Biscuits

I have a little biscuit book, it really is tiny, about a 1/4 size of an A4 piece of paper and I remember it from when I was a child.  I am not sure where we got it from, but it is filled with splendid biscuit and cookie recipes and the pictures make your mouth water.  Anyways, I have only every baked one recipe out of it and while leafing through the pages came across this recipe.  It sounded so simple and easy and delicious so I thought I would give them ago.


A day in the life of a stay at home mom

Being a stay at home mom is awesome.  Everyday I wake up and I am super grateful for being able to have a year off.  It really is the most amazing thing to be able to do and I love every (well almost every!) minute of it.  But let me let you into a little secret, while it is awesome and cool and all of that it is also hard work people.  Especially if you are lacking on the sleep side of things and there are chores to be done and you have a teething baby.  But you learn how to cope and you just get on with it.  Plus, you also have your relaxing days, where you take it slow, you stick the TV on and you let the washing up wait until later on.


Cookies & Cream Chocolate Fudge Brownies

The name says it all really doesn't it?  My friend sent me the link to these brownies and I HAD to make them.  They are very rich and decadent.   They are easy to make, apart from a bit of whisking but you have to burn some calories before you eat these pieces of heaven right? 


The best blueberry muffins ever

I wanted to make something yummy that wasn't chocolate or cake so I tried these blueberry muffins.  I was a bit skeptical when I read the recipe but I thought I would give it a go and I am so glad I did.  I will definitely be making these again soon (i.e. this weekend).  They are perfect as a breakfast treat or with a cup of tea in the afternoon.  They would make a perfect homemade gift for a friend or why not just make them for yourself?  I know I will.



 

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Hello....I'm Claire.

Wife :: Mama :: Baker :: Maker

I love to create, gather & inspire others.

Coffee and cake is my staple diet.

I live in Cape Town with my husband & two small boys.

Thank you for dropping by!

 

 

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