The one question we need to stop asking women

There is a question that makes my blood boil. It turns my insides out, it makes me clench my fists and my teeth. It is a question asked by men and women…but it’s usually only directed at women.

It’s a question that is selfish. Rude. Inconsiderate. Abhorrent. Nosy.

The question is, “When are you going to have a (another) baby?”

Perhaps, to you, there doesn’t seem to be anything wrong with this question. Perhaps you are a regular asker of this question. If you are, you need a heavy-handed reminder of why you have no right to be asking this.

I am guilty of opening my mouth and feeling the words spill out. It’s almost indoctrinated into our DNA to check on people’s milestones – When are you going to get engaged? When are you going to get married? When are you going to have a baby? When are you going to add a sibling? When are you going to die? Am I mentioned in your will? It’s never-ending.

So why is this question so bad?

This question can be heartbreaking

The question, perhaps innocent in its intent, is demeaning to women who are struggling to conceive.

  • Imagine, for the 12th month in a row, the pregnancy test has been a negative. You turn wearily to your partner, your heart at your feet, that pounding thud in your mind that beats “there is something wrong with you” and you show them yet another broken dream.
  • Imagine you have just experienced a miscarriage. It is so fresh that you are still wearing sanitary pads. Someone, a friend, a family member, a random stranger asks you “So when are you two going to finally try for a baby”. You feel the uncomfortable dull ache in your womb and you wish to scream “I did try, and now what’s left is collecting in my knickers!

When you ask this question, you have no idea what that person is going through. You have no idea how many tears they have shed over one blue line, over a scan that didn’t show a heartbeat and upon looking back into the toilet and seeing the first drop of blood.

When you miscarry, you feel labour pains, perhaps not so severe – that totally depends on the woman and how far along the miscarriage happens. When it happened to me, I lay on my couch with a hot water bottle feeling my body contract and remembering that the last time this happened, I was pushing out the most beautiful girl in the world. Continue Reading…


What to do in the Western Cape if you only have a week

Cape Town

I often get asked what there is to do in the Western Cape, Cape Town in particular, and why it’s a good place to visit. Aside from it housing one of the new 7 wonders of nature -Table Mountain in case you don’t live under our rock – it has a diverse culture and landscape, world-renowned food and wine, and a rich artistic musicality. I’m constantly trying to encourage my family to come over, especially those who appreciate wine and dining out as eating out in the UK is ridiculously expensive.

Another big draw is obviously the exchange rate, and though the Rand is clawing back at the pound and dollar, there is still a significantly big difference to be appreciated by travelers.

But what if you had limited time to spend in and around the Mother City? Well, here’s what I’d do if I only had a week to spend in Cape Town…

Enjoy Cape Town’s city life

As much as I dislike the word “vibe”, the ambiance of Cape Town is unlike any other city in the world. It has an eclectic mix of locals, tourists, languages and cultures and the result is a symphony of colour and sound. On every street corner is a delicious place to eat. There are numerous museums, architectural landmarks and plenty of places to take photos to fill your instragram feed.

The V&A Waterfront 

Perhaps it’s a bit of a cliche, but people watching at the Waterfront is epic. I love the bustling fill of tourists, the quality shops, beautiful views and yes, overly priced restaurants. Some places are just built for tourism and you have to embrace it. Continue Reading…


That time we thought we were having a boy

So, if you’ve already read my announcement post (here) then you will know that Mr H and I were adamant that we were having a boy this time. We were so sure of ourselves, or at least I was, that we shot some announcement posts in blue. Needless to say, they wont be used. But that’s not the only reason they won’t be used. Rosie REFUSED to be a part of the shoot. I have one usable image and you can’t even see her face. Needless to say, we tried a different set of images which required much bribery.

Here’s what we originally had planned, as well as Rosie’s glowing contribution.

I just love royal blue.

This is what we eventually went with…

The idea was a) to get Rosie to actually pose b) to show us putting away the blue and getting ready for more pink and I love how Rosie is pointing two fingers to show that there are going to be two beautiful princesses in our family.

Disclaimer: You don’t understand how hard I bribed Rosie to pose for these photos – she absolutely loves those books, so that helped…as did a few popcorn pieces. Okay, A LOT of popcorn pieces.

Anyway one else struggle with their birth announcement photos, or did you just keep it simple?

Our rainbow baby is on her way!!

I’m going to be a mummy to TWO girls.

Come September, Mr H is going to be well and truly outnumbered.

Wow, I feel so elated to be able to share this news, it’s been a tough few months keeping her under wrap, and also not letting fear hold me down. We’ve prayed so hard for this little one, prayed against my fears, prayed for my body and prayed that we would both be safe. I can’t deny that the innocence of my pregnancy with Rosie was marred by our miscarriage in October BUT, God is good, and in his timing we have trusted.

It’s been a difficult pregnancy. Mainly because I’ve been so worried, so paranoid.
I got scared at 8 weeks after having awful stomach pains, which I know was down to stress, and after two days of agony I took myself to the gynae to prove my fears wrongs.
At 10 weeks I got a terrible gastro bug and again, everyone went into high alert. Everything I eat I panic over.

I knew that this pregnancy was going to be completely different from the first – they always are right? I knew it would be hard, but contending with an overwhelming feeling of dread was not the emotion I was after.

I’ve had the most amazing people by my side – Mr H has, and always will be my champion – my friends who have known have been so supportive and I must give special thanks to two of my dear loves who are both pregnant and have practically put aside their baby news to check in on me all the time. I’m actually having a good cry whilst typing that, you two know who you are and I love you.

The 12 week scan was so emotional as I watched our little girl waving and twisting. Even though Mr H told me it was to be a girl, he was still in disbelief – we both thought it was a boy. We’re going to be saving loads not having to buy boys clothing. Whoop! Continue Reading…

Food & Drink

How I survived the South African Wine Industry

Did you know, I used to work in the wine industry? For four years I was an editor and social media manager for a big online wine database which I left to follow my own dreams after having Rosie. I don’t regret leaving it at all, but I am so grateful to have wet my feet in such an exciting industry…and industry that prior to my move to South Africa I would have balked at.

Before leaving England, I hated wine. My Gran always told me that it was an adult taste that I would grow into, like olives (which are disgusting), but all I could taste was bitterness and fumes…it could have been the Australian wines she was drinking though.

Something changed within me when I moved over here and realized that I needed to become involved and interested in this important factor of SA life. I couldn’t drive past another vineyard and not be intrigued and with the help of a good friend, and tour guide, I dived into wine research…and I grew to absolutely love the stuff.

It wasn’t enough though to just organize blind tastings or food and wine pairings at our home,  I needed more – I needed an immersive education so that I could pass on my new found passion. Then I got the perfect wine job and BAM, my life was completely revolved around wine.

It was the dream job but it was also a stressful one as I struggled to find my place in a strongly male-dominated field. My role required attending a large variety of events and in the beginning it took a while to feel accepted. I often found that I was observed as being too young – my gender didn’t help either. I felt the urge to shout louder just to be heard and I tried to emulate those around me which made me feel even more lost. Some days I felt like a complete and utter fraud because I couldn’t smell the foraged mushrooms in a Pinot Noir, or taste the pencil shavings in a Cab Sauv. Continue Reading…


Roses For Thorns: Angela Rea

In the silence of our room, I feel you move through the walls, through the duvet we once shared and the pillow that held your fair head; the curtains sway and I wish it to be you. But it isn’t. Purely just a memory from a time when my heart was fully beating.

Hi, I am Angela, a widowed mum to a toddler boy, Elijah Micah. We have two dogs, a Border Collie and a Border Scollie called Flop and Millie, and a Russian Blue cat called Spider Pig or just Pig for short. You can find me on my blog here.

When my son was seven months old I tragically lost the love of my life, my husband Darrell, while he was on duty putting out a fire in his helicopter.

My whole world came crashing down – literally – Darrell was my whole world.

Darrell was the chief pilot for a very large aviation firm and it was an exciting and different life. One becomes very close to their spouse as their working environment is so unconventional. We were either living in each others pockets as Darrell did a home standby, or we were pining for each other when Darrell was up North for the fire season. We would talk at least 20 times a day and were continuously on WhatsApp with each other. Continue Reading…


Roses For Thorns: Shante Hutton

When you were a child, you lived with the innocence of a child. You laughed wholeheartedly like a child and you loved unashamedly like a child. But when that child dies, you must twist your body into the mould of an adult. You must let pain lead you, regrets make you, terror push you and you must lose the ways of a child in a split second. Soon, you begin to wonder whether you were born at all, or if you just suddenly existed, formed from the destruction of a moment.

For many of you, we’ve probably already met, but in case you’ve just followed the series and know nothing about me…I’m Shante, a Brit who moved to SA in 2010 to marry the love of her life. Together, we have a beautiful daughter, Rosie, who is turning two this May and is strong-willed, self-assured, and utterly breathtaking. Aside from taking photos (You can find me here), I also own my own Copywriting & Social Media Agency (Sweet Lemon Communications), built on 10 years of experience in writing, print, advertising and marketing.

I didn’t start off wanting to put myself into the series. I had no intention of being in front of the lens. Tam, our amazing stylist and concept developer, coaxed away my reluctance, suggesting that my story would also bring healing for others.

So here I am, letting go of the little pieces of armour that I have left, ready to tell you where it all begins…

Lights flash across the car windows highlighting smudged finger prints and smeared lip traces, and Mum explains for the third time that once we reach the Leisure Centre, she’ll pay for the swimming after she has gone to the bathroom.
I am annoyed with my brother, folding my arms across me in anger and refusing to look at him – it was only a few hours earlier that he had taken a compass and stabbed a hole in my brand-new school photo.
We reach the Leisure Centre, Mum heads to the bathroom whilst Jhordan and I stand in the foyer, uncertainty between us. I follow my feet towards the leaflet stand and Jhordan heads to the weighing machine that stands opposite – it is a heavy piece of machinery with a jutting out base to stand on and a huge circular face. It’s great for adventures, for pretending that the floor is a sea and the machine is the ship to sail upon.
Jhordan rotates his body on and off the base like he is performing a dance, a dance we have both done many times before. The sea begins to churn and the space between us suddenly grows; air falters, noises are silenced and in one sweep of arms and legs, the giant of metal and glass topples like corn in the wind – the defiance of its ruler is broken as underneath its ugly bulk he falls without sound. Crimson erupts from his face and head, each droplet flows into another, weaving a map of vermillion across the ebony floor.
Air blasts back into my nostrils, a man swirls around the conquered hero and Mum comes running, apparently screaming, to lift the demon from its final resting place.

20 years ago, on the 5th November, when I was 9, my 7-year-old brother, Jhordan, was crushed to death in front of me beneath a mountain of steel, bolts and glass.

There it is. In its most crude form. Ugly. Bare. The facts.

That day I met death.
He was not fearsome or terrifying, he was small, almost missable. He commanded no grand entrance, he merely stepped in as I forgot to breath, and gently and gracefully took my heart and replaced it with winter’s ice.

The girl who was so self-assured, so in control, suddenly found herself in a world that she no longer recognized, a world that she was viewing through raw eyes.

Continue Reading…


Roses For Thorns: Maz Halliday

There are wounds that never show on the body that are deeper and more hurtful than anything that bleeds.

Hi! My name is Maz. I am a working mom from Cape Town, South Africa, who apparently enjoys blogging over at  more than sleeping. What is sleep anyway? I have two adorable and extremely exhausting kids, my perfect pigeon pair. I am happily married to my soul mate – he is pretty much the only human being on the planet that I can tolerate for more than 6-hours at a time. The four of us decided to pack up our things and trade our white picket-fenced suburban life for the open countryside on the outskirts of Cape Town almost a year ago – and it was the best decision we had ever made.

During the day I work full time as a senior Fashion Designer for a South African clothing manufacturer that supplies some of the top retailers nationally and internationally. It is extremely hard and challenging work – but I love it and it has been a passion/dream of mine for as long as I can remember. I have so much I still want to accomplish when it comes to my career, but for now I am focusing on working towards a more sustainable industry with fair trade practices and a clean conscience.

You can find me, socially, here: Facebook  | Twitter | Instagram

So where does my story start? I grew up in a stable, loving home with a supportive family who gave me the world and more.
There was absolutely no reason for me to be depressed or unhappy but, as a child I was always a bit different, I never felt like I fitted in and I found it extremely hard to make friends. I felt like an unwelcome tourist in a place called earth, as dramatic as that sounds.

Continue Reading…


Roses For Thorns: Jonelle Du Pont

I shook the hand of death –  I made his acquaintance – and then I told him, in a voice that rang like thunder, I will not bow to you.

Hi, I’m Jonelle, a Mom, Wife, Ostomate, Writer and Community Development Practitioner!

I live in Cape Town with my family but I’m originally from Swaziland. I moved here in 2003 to attend university and I loved it so much that I never left.

I write the blog, , which is about intentional living, with a focus on living life positively, purposefully and authentically. I write about being resilient in the face of adversity and being proud of who you are and try to encourage people to live unapologetically! You can find me here: | |

I’m married to the love of my life, Gerard, and we have an almost two year old son called Oden. We also have two dogs and two cats and our life is a little chaotic. My son is a real life miracle story, he was a complete surprise to us after we were told we would never have kids naturally. We had actually already started planning to start IVF when I discovered I was pregnant. We live in Cape Town and if things go our way, we will be moving to New Zealand sometime this year.

I’ve had so much death in my family over the last few years and death changes you.

I’d say the most profound was the loss of my dad when I was 23. I was this naïve child who thought I’d be daddy’s girl forever but then he died in a car accident and suddenly I had to figure out the real world. I had no idea how to take care of myself but somehow I managed. I figured it out as I went along and made a few mistakes but my dad’s death really showed me how quickly everything you know can change. Death and grief have the power to destroy you.

Continue Reading…


Roses For Thorns: Cindy Alfino

I am not the skin I am in. I am my voice. My heart. My soul. My art; I am a canvas for possibility and the scars and tears do not define me.

To most people I’m known as Cindy Alfino, but to the three most demanding people in my life, I’m called Mom.

Between juggling three kids and all the taxiing, cuddling and disciplining involved in raising them alongside my husband, I also co-own my own insurance brokerage called Incompass Insurance Consultants and run a semi successful parenting blog called 3 Kids, 2 Dogs and 1 Old House.  We like to spend our time together exploring our home town of Cape Town and occasionally other parts of SA too.  When I’m not actively involved with any of those things you’ll probably find me hiding behind a good book, in front of a great series or stalking people on social media:
Instagram  | Facebook | Twitter

As you can imagine, our family life with three kids can be hectic on a good day.  It takes a lot of planning, plotting and good time keeping to keep our ship afloat everyday.  The problem is that despite my ability to nail that all at work, I’m totally shocking at this at home.  So very often you’ll find us running in late, with half the goodies organised but generally with a smile on our faces.

Our kids are Kyla, who just turned 8.  Riya-Ray who was a bit of a surprise baby that joined her sister just a year and two weeks later and has just turned 7.  Then there’s our little boy Knox who is 5.  It’s often a bit crazy but we would not have it any other way. Continue Reading…