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Luxury Goods with a Second life

On Wednesday night I ventured into central London for a showcase evening by the retailer Cudoni, who buy and sell pre-loved luxury items. I am so grateful that my husband rushed home from work so I could run out the door to make it to the venue on time. After navigating Oxford Street in rush hour, through the pouring rain it was a relief to find the unassuming entrance to Maddox Club, where the event was being held. What a wonderful venue, each room with different designer wallpaper, low lit lighting and lovely design details throughout.

On arrival your coats were checked, and with a glass of bubbly we were led downstairs to a private room of the Mayfair venue.

Once in the Greenroom we were met with a competition where you stood a chance to win a stunning Chanel scarf. A live DJ, playing on the decks positioned on what looked like a French baroque desk, was setting the tune to the night. The room was bustling with ladies mingling, drinking Prosecco and looking at the great merchandise Cudoni had brought along.

The Greenroom at Maddox Club

The scarf was not meant to be mine but that didn’t matter as it was a great night, getting to know more about the Cudoni brand. The display table was covered in stunning designer goods such as handbags by Hermes, Gucci, Versace, Fendi, LV and more.

Display table with designer goods by Hermes, Chanel, Louis Vuitton and many more

Most people love beautiful, well-made items, but we can’t all afford them at full price or even prefer not to be wasteful. Cudoni steps in and takes the worry away from you. They will collect your items from you for free and carry out a market valuation. Once everybody is satisfied, they start selling for you.

If you have some lovely items in your cupboard you no- longer need or an unwanted gift, why not get in touch with Cudoni and let someone else enjoy the item and at the same time do your bit against the war on waste. Similarly, if you have a birthday or special occasion coming up or you need a gift for someone special this could be the solution to trawling the high street or internet looking for something new.

I would like to do a shout out to the wonderful team at Mayfair Times for arranging the event, it was very well run and I know that everyone attending had a great time.


Veg bake for the whole family

The thing that has been the trickiest for us is making food for the babies that we can also eat. We need flavor and so do they to get used to eating food that is not just bland. As we have twins it needs to be easy for me to prepare whilst on the move or they are eating their lunch.

So, I did this yesterday and it worked a treat and was something I have never tried before. I hope you like it let me know.

Easy vegatable bake


Vegatable base                                                                                        Sauce

1 medium onion1 medium carrot -grated
Red pepper and green chopped250 ml Passata
½ punnet of mushroom cubed2 tablespoons finely chopped onion
1 sweet potato choppedMixed herbs
Cubed Butternut 1 cup (more if you like)1 Garlic clove – minced
Smoked, paprika, pepperTeaspoon Worchester sauce


Heat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Cut all your vegetables into 1.5cm pieces, cover in a couple glugs of olive oil. Sprinkle in spices of choice, I used a roast vegetable mix and pepper. I also added smoked paprika and a little graham masala just to lift it. Roast for 25minutes and stir and leave a further 20minutes or until the veg have some colour and are cooked.

While the veg is roasting fry off the 2 tbsp of onion with some olive oil for 2 minutes then add the carrot and some mixed herbs and fry for another 2 minutes. Once the carrot has changed colour add the passata, Worcestershire sauce and something sweet I used carob maple syrup just to balance the tomato sauce. Add salt if you want.

Once the veg is ready remove from the oven and add the sauce mix through. Sprinkle with cheese and back for a further 20mins till brown, grill if needed. If you are only eating it later only sprinkle cheese once cool and keep in the fridge.

Tip I split the children’s and ours and sprinkled some chili on ours. Serve with couscous or mix through pasta or on a toasted ciabatta or sour dough bread. This is rather rich so for the children I also mixed some yougurt through with the couscous. Enjoy! Let us know how it works for you!!

Friday morning and Messy Play

This week has turned out to be full of activities! Our wonderful neighbour and Godmamma to the twins joined us for a cup of coffee at Estate Office Coffee before work and the baby class we had after. So glad this great little spot opened on Greyhound Lane.

We hadn’t got round to trying it since it opened, [partly because I was worried that our double buggy would take up too much room. They were very accommodating and there were loads of other buggies and the business people who were there were kind enough to not look at us with disdain. Always a win, I think. The beacon butty and coffee was very tasty, and we will defiantly stop in here again.  

Estate Office Coffee cuppa

The class we had was Messy Play with the great team from Sensory Land at the Railway Pub by the Streatham Common Station. I would really recommend this for your little ones, they can explore and develop their skills in a safe environment and Mummy doesn’t need to the cleaning up.

I am not sure if I stand alone here but I tend to try keep this clean and mealtimes is as messy as it gets. I really look forward to when we do art in the house but just feel that it will be better when they understand a bit better. Thankfully in the meantime there are classes such as this one, that offer a space where parents can let go and the children can enjoy themselves without our limitations. 

Everyone chasing bubbles

This is just a quick share of our morning as both were worth a mention. 

Shrove Tuesday/ Flipping pancakes

The idea behind the entire concept is use everything in your cupboard so that it is bare for the Lent fasting. It is fine if you just like pancakes, you are not actually forced to fast if you partake. 

In South Africa we like making pancakes a lot! When it’s cold, rainy weather, at church fetes or if your children just demand pancakes. We also don’t have sugar and lemon, don’t hate on me now please. We mix cinnamon and sugar and layer the pancakes covering them as you make them to melt the sugar and make a syrup. It’s amazing but I am still working on my husband who is British, don’t mess with a Brits tradition. 

Work in progress

We also do savory as the pancakes make up the entire meal. Normally there is a cheese variety, you sprinkle the cheese in the pancake and roll them up as you make them, stack them so the cheese is melted and gooey. I couldn’t just give my babies cheese and sugar, right? So I made a few for them with a few more food groups. 

Follow the mince pancake: 

Ingredients: For quantities go on your own palate or that of your children 

  • Pork mince (use any you like here Beef, chicken, turkey, it matters not we just adding protein) 
  • Onion finely chopped ( small cubs not minced) 
  • Coriander seeds and/ or ground cumin 
  • Graham masala 
  • Dijon mustard 
  • Frozen peas, defrost or microwave for 2 minutes 
Porkmince and cheese savoury pancakes


  • In a pan toast the coriander seeds and bash in a pestle and mortar 
  • Add some cooking oil of your preference, we use olive oil for this and fry off your onions 
  • You can add finely chopped carrots, peppers or mushrooms here if you desire, we are keeping it simple 
  • Now add your spices and fry for 1 minute or less till fragrant, add your mince and brown 
  • Put a teaspoon of mustard and stir 
  • Lastly add your peas, I like to squash mine, so they digest easier 
  • Season with pepper, I do not add salt to their meals 

I made our pancake batter earlier while the children were napping and just added the vinegar and baking powder 25minutes before cooking and left the mixture out the fridge. 

Once you have flipped the pancake and it looks well cooked flip it back as the first side should be on the outside (this step is not needed just how I was taught).  Sprinkle your cheese and then mince mixture and a few peas if you didn’t add them before. Now slide the pancake onto kitchen roll and roll up by hand.  

A tasty alternative is to mash roasted butternut or sweet potato and layer that with cheese and roll up. I am sure everyone will love it not just the babies. 

Sweaty Story Time

I have been mulling over what to write for the next post and not having arrived at anything, I thought just start writing. Yesterday was Monday and we managed to make it out the door early to head into Balham. We are members are Bertie and Boo Adventure Island (soft play café), a generous gift from Grandma and Grandpa. As we were early, we were in time for story time at 10:30. This was just wonderful except for the fact that I was running after twins, making sure they are in the same area and not injuring themselves, or other children.  

Austin and Aria climbing the Pirateship softplay

Typically, this looks like me herding them into one side of the play are through a gate. O wait, everyone leaves the gate open that separates two rooms making a hard job harder. Once we in the same room Austin will enter the soft play structure from one side and Aria wants to go in the bottom. They only 16months and are running around so I tend to be in there with them to make sure they are safe. Austin still walks up to the top of a side and often forgets to sit down. Once before, I needed to fling myself through a soft play to get to him before he dove headfirst down the slide. Leave them they say, they will be fine they say… 

In the story time room both my little ones are walking around, Aria tries to leave the room and Austin is climbing into the area where all the toys have been stacked to make space for the class. Once everyone is inside, and the door is closed I can breathe. When the class starts there is singing, and Austin sits on my lap while Aria happily joins in and stands with the other children. This is when I realize that on my T-shirt where the waist is, I have a nice big sweat stain from all the running around! You know that cringe feeling inside? I do not embarrass easily but a sweat stain when everyone else looks fresh or at least sweat free. 

I hold onto Austin where he is blocking some of the tell-tale wet patch, luckily, he is so bemused that he just sits and stares. 10 minutes from the end he starts to moan a bit, nothing that would normally cause me to exit, but I am relieved and scoop up Aria in my arms and head out so I can pop them in the pram and leave. 

Now maybe no one noticed and maybe they did and thought nothing of it but for me it just felt horrible. Let’s not judge others for we do not know how much running around is required to see them where they are not losing their shit. 

Essie, on mute nail colour

On happier news Mamma also popped to Boots to buy some nail-varnish, only Essie had the colour I wanted so had to treat myself. The first time since having the twins I painted my nails and didn’t smudge them, winning! This all achieved while still doing all the normal duties.

Please let me know of any cringe moments you have had. #We are not alone.

Not all days are great

Not all days are great, and I did say I would share a spectrum not just the shiny ‘display’ days. Sometimes you have curve balls and add teething or ‘testing their emotions’ babies and you can be left feeling like you’ve been on a bender. We all remember what that feels like right? And I don’t mean in a good way either. Drained, at your wits end but still needing to be the best you for your children. 

For some added welly we are currently having a dry month and have been doing so since the 25th of January, in case anyone thought I chose a short month. We were in South Africa for most of January so there was nothing dry about that, but I digress. 

This morning we woke up a little early, pleased to announce after a full night sleep. Feeling ready for the day I did all the morning duties and even got to them earlier than usual. We took a walk to get to a playgroup for 10:30, only to find out that it is not on over the half term and I missed the memo. Aria had fallen asleep while Austin was still awake, no worries, right? We will get home, have lunch, Austin will go down and Aria will go down a bit later. 

Not so much. Austin went down a dream but I tried to get Aria down too soon. She woke Austin and my plans of spending one on one time with them both went down the toilet. Austin was emotional, and I took his dummy away as we only give it to them when they sleeping. He has been more attached to his lately. Austin now slithers down on his back and lies on the floor crying when ever things don’t go his way. This reaction happens when I leave the room and he can’t, when he wants to snatch a toy from Aria and I don’t let him, when he wants to chew on a tube of cream or anything, I deem dangerous or not suitable. There are probably more but I’m sure you get the picture.  

I proceed to try distracting them with offering snacks (in case they are hungry), water, cuddles, games, singing, another nap. Phew at this stage the crying/ steam has left Mom2 feeling drained and just open the baby gate so they can roam but this leads them straight to the kitchen, a den of danger. Austin is so happy he virtually skips to the larder were their plates and spoons are, so I close the larder. I put them both in their high chairs while I finish dinner, soy and honey chicken breast and steamed broccoli and peas. Opening the larder to use the microwave, yes I use a microwave, and crash the Pyrex dish I use to make their oats shatters into so many pieces. Breathe it was not their fault, well it was but will not get upset they are babies. 

Dinner is going well when Austin starts pushing everything away, he has had enough so I take him out and go to brush his teeth and leave him in his cot, with dummy, while I brush Aria’s. I dress Austin in PJ’s and take him to the lounge, bring Aria and her PJ’s to the lounge and pray for the strength to get to bedtime.  

After I have put Aria’s pajama’s on, they both seem happy with their environment and also take turns to sit on my lap and give me cuddles. Aria brings a book for me to read to her, Austin patiently waits till she leaves and then takes his turn. At bedtime I feed them both a bottle of milk and after burping Austin and giving him his dummy, he comes forward to give me a kiss, with dummy still in. It’s like he said:’ you did okay today Mommy, I love you’. My heart melts but surely that’s not what he meant, then he does it again and I ‘hear’ the same thing. Happiness is. 

The Seed Collectors

I love a library and will be writing a separate piece on that, but that is where most of the books I read comes from. One of the recent books I have read is The Seed Collectors by Scarlett Thomas. Though it took a while for me to get into it was just wonderful and eye opening on a few topics once I did. 

It was the varied plot lines built around a family or botanists/ hippies that took time to wrap my head around. It’s not a standard Mum, Dad children family tree but rather more intertwined than that. Some of the scenes may make you question your own morality but it is the sub text of the seeds that really perk my interest. As a Kundalini yoga practitioner, the term of enlightenment is not foreign to me but to think that taking a drug/ seed could get you there. Very interesting but of course there is a cost. 

What makes the book appeal to me and I hope you to is that it is in itself also ‘Perfectly Imperfect’, like all of us. Giving hope that you can survive your faults for lack of a better word or at least learn and evolve. 

It all comes together so beautifully towards the end and you have a real ‘aha’ moment. I don’t want to give away the twists and turns this book takes but pay attention to names as you may find yourself wanting to turn back to make sure who is who. 

Return to Exercise

The story of my return to exercise comes with a bit of a twist. I was feeling much better and ready for some light work-outs, I had delivered our babies 4 weeks ago. Of course, what I do next is to accept the invite to the Christmas Party of the company I was working for. Feeling like I could fit into a nice dress, with some spanks to smooth the lines some, I got ready and ordered the Uber. At the party I committed to myself to a two-drink maximum, 3 at most… 

On the dance floor I made sure not to go too nuts but as the night wore on and I was looking at the clock thinking I should really go now.  Then a song came on and I decided to not join but start a conga line! Great idea, about half way in it felt like my hip gave way and I hobbled to the side and sat at a different company’s table. What could I do by call my director to rescue me, as I knew he would answer. Very embarrassing! Two of the company Directors carried me to where the first aid staff were. After checking my range of motion, they said it is not broken and sent my home with a colleague as I couldn’t walk. 

Getting home my husband that stayed with the babies came down to help me get up the stairs. ‘I’m injured not drunk’ Much to his amusement and kept teasing me that I had too good a time. Hereby setting myself back another 4 weeks plus of no exercise, walking was the main goal at that point. 

When I did return to exercise, I had to take it easy and build my strength. My much loved HIIT sessions would have to wait. I did this by working with a personal trainer, she guided me through various routines and increased my pace and reps. Learning the right way to do the different exercises and also how many of each and how many repetitions was so useful and something I will always use in my fitness regime. 

The idea is that you do a kinetic or dynamic warm up to raise the heart rate and then do two or three groups of three to four exercises. You could take a minute rest between circuits or see how fast you can do all of them at a minutes per exercise and repeat 3-4 times. The best way I found to get workout programs was to search it on YouTube and Pinterest.  

I do short workouts in the lounge, 15 –25minutes, so the kids can be involved or do some self-play on the play mat. Then 1 good gym workout a week and long walks with the pram. Yes long walks count, pick up the pace and get where you are going!

My children playing while Mommy exercises

This is a very rough guide of what I did and what worked for me, know your own body and limits. Please consult with your doctor before starting any new exercise following having your baby. 

About us

It has been on my mind for a while to start this blog; the time is now. I became a mom of two amazing babies, Aria and Austin, and that really made me realize I wanted to share my experience of this crazy thing we call life. As the title suggests I’m doing what comes naturally and it may not always be perfect to everyone but it is perfect for me and my family. 

My interests have always been varied and the blog will testify to this, everything from food, exercise and now parenting. The latter being the least predictable experience to date. I hope to share things that work and others that don’t, good days and bad days and how I make this work for me and my family. Because on the days that don’t go to plan and you feel alone, woman (and men) should know you are not, we are all part of the same big world.