Wine tasting in Stellenbosch

Easter Monday was a perfect day to spend with family and friends wine tasting in Stellenbosch. Now, I have had difficulties with producing breast milk and after a few weeks, and since I have stopped taking Eglonyl, my milk as dried up. I would have loved to have been able to breastfeed Paige exclusively and for longer but unfortunately I was unable to. I’m ok with it, I tried my best, and Paige is a happy and healthy formula baby. This means that after months of being teetotal, I can enjoy a glass of wine and if you are going to drink, there is no better place than on a wine farm in Stellenbosch. It is a personal choice whether to drink or not and it’s unfair to judge others if they drink responsibly. Moms that breastfeed should not feel guilty for indulging in a glass of tipple, as long as you wait 3 hours before the next feed. All in moderation I say.

Uva Mira

Well, we decided to start our day with a high altitude wine taste at Uva Mira in the Helderberg region. The views from the tasting room are exquisite and overlook False Bay to Table Mountain and to Cape Point on a clear day. Unfortunately their whites were sold out but we enjoyed our tasting of their rose and reds, particularly their Syrah. From there were visited the neighbouring farm, Hidden Valley, to join friends for a tasting and cheese board. The cheeseboard and 6 wine tastings for two costs R240 which, in my opinion, is a little expensive for what you get but the setting makes it an enjoyable experience.

Hidden Valley cheeseboard and the view from Ernie Els Wines

The Ernie Els wine experience was fantastic and I will be sure to visit this farm again. Two tasting options are available, 4 generous wine tastings for R30 or 8 wine tastings for R60. Since this was our third farm for the day, we were conservative and tasted 4 of their excellent wines. Graeme sat this one out as he was driving and looked after Paige who by this time had woken up from a very nice long nap. She was as good as gold but at her age, 11 weeks, is very portable and happy as long as she gets a bottle and some cuddles from everyone. Our wonderful day out was marred when, as we were leaving, our friends noticed that valuables were missing from their car. Unfortunately, you have to be vigilant with safety even in the beautiful surrounds of the winelands.

Ernie Els

Baby Massage with Kirsty Williams in Sea Point

For the last three weeks I have been attending baby massage classes with Paige and have loved every minute of it. I joined the classes to learn and enjoy the benefits of massage and to meet other mommies. The baby books wax lyrical about the benefits of massage and set out the steps for you to follow. I think we all have a Johnson and Johnson pamphlet about baby massage, I know I have a few, and their product advertising worked and during my pregnancy I went out and bought the lot. The books are fine but I have felt more confident after the classes, especially since Paige is still quite small. 

I have been taking classes with physio Kirsty Williams who has rooms in Sea Point and accommodates a maximum of seven people in her classes. My concerns as a new mom going out with Paige are mostly about ease of feeding, calming her when she cries and changing nappies. Well, Kirsty put me at ease and since we are all moms in the class, we are all in the same boat and are encouraged to breast or bottle feed and change those smelly nappies. If your baby cries, that is ok, it doesn’t disturb anyone and you can go about settling her as you would normally. Baby needs to be in a calm alert state to do the massage and if she is not, you can sit back and watch what Kirsty is doing so that you can practice at home. The techniques are repeated each week so you will never miss out if baby is not feeling up for it that day.

Classes take place over four weeks in 2 hour sessions. The first hour is spent learning massage techniques and baby yoga and the second hour is a talk, the topic of which is chosen by the group. So far we have discussed milestones, getting back into shape after pregnancy and birth, and next week it is baby’s sensory world and stimulating integration of this during play. It is a bonding experience and it is also fun to spend time with other mommies and have the benefit of a trained physio doing the exercises with you. Kirsty is great and you can contact her at 084 600 8400 and Her rooms are at 7 The Firs, 41 Kloof Road, Sea Point.


Bay Harbour Hout Bay Market

Graeme and I have visited Bay Harbour Hout Bay Market before and knew it would be a good place to take Paige for a nice breakfast out. Hout Bay is only a short drive for us as we live in Sea Point and this time we brought along Granny Colleen and Aunty Dee. This market has won us over and we strongly recommend it. Vendors offer local produce so you won’t find the imported cheeses that you can find in any Spar or other markets, this place is proudly Capetonian.  There is a variety of food available as this market is not only a morning market but is open Friday evenings 5 to 9pm and then on Saturday and Sunday from 9:30am to 4pm. Musicians take to the stage on Friday evenings which we can only imagine is a fun night out since we have only visited on Saturday mornings.

Food is a good motivator to crawl out of bed and get into the car on a Saturday morning and a full English, a glass of freshly squeezed juice and a Chai Tea is what set me up for the day. The nice thing about going to a market with friends and family is that everyone can choose what they would like to eat and best of all, there are no dishes to wash! Next time I want to go back later in the day and enjoy the crayfish braai and wash it down with either some sparkling wine or the local brew. It was nice to see that there were some new vendors and really cute baby clothes. When Paige is old enough to use the big bath I’m going to buy the wall art on sale to decorate the bathroom to make bath time more fun. I also want to set aside some time and go for a massage with Thandi.

So, why do we love this market? Well, it is all weather as it is indoors, the food is good, unique stalls, there is space to push the pram around, comfortable seating and plenty of parking. We find the market baby and child friendly, there are changing facilities near the toilets and a small playground outside for the bigger kids. We will be visiting again soon.

City Bowl Market on Hope

Some days you don’t feel like straying too far from home and so we visited the CB market on Hope Street which is open 9am-2pm every Saturday. My husband, Graeme, was playing golf later in the day and so he was all to happy to have a short outing which kept me happy and involved food. We arranged to meet his golf buddy, Nick, who recommended the market and who knows a lot about local produce. The market is held in a town hall so weather is not a factor and is a market to visit on a rainy day. There is on street parking but we didn’t have a problem finding a space and as always, there were car guards to help us find a spot to park.

The market’s focus is predominately food with some clothes and body products thrown in to the mix of international flavours. We always make a loop of the market to see what we would like and then sit down to eat before buying too much in a hunger induced spending spree. My recommendations would be the pot-stickers, chicken springrolls and a box of 4 Daniela’s cupcakes for R40. Nick recommended the home-baked bread and the mushroom kebabs. Graeme would not ordinarily drink early in the day but, for the purposes of research, thought it only appropriate to test the local brew, Darling Bone Crusher on offer, which according to him, is a great breakfast beer. By far the most popular stall is the fresh produce section where you can stock up on your fruit and veg at discount prices. Have some recipes in mind when buying as the fruit and veg won’t last too long in the fridge.

The kids can keep busy by choosing and making a variety of mosiacs at the kids table. Two ladies look after and help your kids with their creations and the pack will set you back R100. Paige is far too young to enjoy this activity and slept in her pram the entire time – my little angel! An area which can be improved is the seating which is currently on hessian sacks with doors as the tables. The seating is not comfortable and was made worse by the fact I was wearing a short dress. If you have an hour to spare and the weather is rubbish, this is the market to visit.

Skip Hop Duo Deluxe Nursery Bag

I spent some time researching diaper bags looking at functionality, price, look and whether my husband would be prepared to carry it. You don’t need to buy a special diaper bag, any bag can carry diapers, bottles and so on, but since I would be using it often I wanted to get something best suited for the job. Prices vary from about R300 to over R2 000 and you have to decide what you are prepared to spend and what your taste in bags is. The Skip Hop range appealed to me as it was stylish and offered a variety of colour schemes which both men and women will like. The price was also right at R600.

The main feature of the bag is that it converts from a shoulder bag to a stroller bag by using what they call shuttle clips. The bag clips onto the handles of a pram which means no lugging the bag over your shoulder, putting it down on a dirty floor or having to squeeze it into the storage basket of the pram. The shoulder strap is padded and the bag lies neatly against the body when carried. There are 11 pockets and compartments to store all baby’s bits and bobs and mom’s personal belongings. A decent changing mat is included with the bag.

The pattern in the photo is called pop flower and matches my pram (I colour tested various bags in store before buying it much to the amusement of the Baby City staff). The bag ticked all my boxes and I hope it is as durable as it feels and looks. My one complaint is that the bag is narrow and deep so make sure you pack your most used items on top or in the side pockets. If you are looking for something a little different, Skip Hop have a messenger-style design called the Dash Deluxe which is slightly smaller and wider.

Green Point Park

After a trip to the clinic, Paige and I crossed the road and went for a walk in Green Point Park. The start of our excursion was delayed as I stood roadside trying to open the pram like a bumbling fool. Five minutes later and a kind offer of assistance by the gardener, I finally noticed the clip holding it shut and our excursion got under way.

Green Point Play Areas

I have been impressed with the Park since they opened it and look forward to the day when Paige will be old enough to play on the well crafted jungle gyms. The park is located behind the Stadium and there is ample parking behind the Virgin Active and along the Mouille Point entrances. The grounds are well cared for and time and thought went into the landscaping and designing the interactive walkways and adventure playgrounds. The park offers activities for all ages with a toddler play area for 1 to 6 year olds, the adventure play area for 6 to 16 year olds, designated ball game area, and a fitness area with outdoor gym equipment. There is plenty of space to relax in the grounds or at the shaded picnic spot by the pond.

Green Point Park

This park is super child friendly and offers safe, clean and fun facilities for all ages. The toilet facilities are clean and there are two baby changing rooms with a pull down changing mat. I highly recommend this park for a family outing in a scenic part of the city.