Xander Mom: Stacy

Tell us about yourself? 

Let’s see… I’m a wife to one, mother to two (10 and 3) and blogger to many. During weekdays, you will find me in the corporate world of financial services. After the evening rush of dinner, homework, bath and bed, you will find me working in this online world we call blogging. Weekends are usually very busy; either catching up on projects (especially when we have big ones on the go) and me catching up on my photography for the blog for the week ahead. Because of all the crazy, Sundays are generally put aside for family time – you might find us meandering up the West Coast or heading out to Hermanus for the day; maybe we will go to the beach or out for a picnic; or perhaps we will all cuddle up on the couch for a pyjama day at home.

Another point about me is that I love a good DIY project; luckily I married a man who is usually more than willing to go along with my crazy schemes and work as my handyman and general contractor. Want to put in a fireplace? Sure thing darling. How about redo the kitchen, including moving plumbing and electric? Sure, let’s get started! Seriously though, he is generally pretty good natured about these things. As long as I stick to a strict budget 😊

When we do come to the point that we need a break from it all, you will find us travelling the countryside – 4×4 and tent in tow of course. We usually land up in places with little to none cell phone reception and we just switch off for the time that we are away. It does wonders to reset us!

I dream of living out in the country one day, in an old restored farmhouse with wooden floors and a huge stoep, with a couple of horses, a few dogs and a number of chickens roaming around the place. As long as there are no ghosts, of course!

Tell us about your blog?

My blog would be classified as a lifestyle blog, with the main focus being on DIY and home décor. As I mentioned earlier, I love a good DIY project. I’m glad that I enjoy it because, quite honestly, the only way that I can have the things that I want is by DIYing them. We work on a strict budget, which means we will do as much as we possibly can by ourselves. I have also found that I really enjoy recording and sharing the process with others. Hubs has been his usual supportive self and has learned patience when I take photos/videos/ask him 20 questions about what he is doing.

In addition to the DIY and home décor posts, you will also find ideas for road trips or weekends away; posts about self-care; and posts about my blogging journey so far for those of my readers who are interested in those aspects of my life.

The goal of my blog is to encourage everyone to make their house/flat/room their home; a home that is an extension of them and reflects their personalities. So often we are put off “Design” and “Decor” as something only a privileged few have; I want to change that view – I want everyone to be able to have their ideal “Designer Home” (or aspects from it), no matter how tight the budget. I would consider this blog a success if I encouraged people to take that step for themselves – whether that be painting a feature wall for the first time, or busting out and renovating their entire kitchen!

 

 

How do you feel about using technology as part of learning? 

With my eldest, we didn’t focus much on technology as a part of learning at all. She didn’t have much access to it, with the exception of a leappad. However, when she started going for extra reading lessons, a portion of the time allocated was actually spent at a PC playing educational games – I was quite surprised, but it worked!

My son had access to technology much earlier than my daughter; he had learned colours like orange, purple and brown (along with the standard primary colours) before he was 3. He could also count – not just from memory, but he had the concept down as well.

Long story short – technology used in the right way definitely has a place in my children’s education.

What are your kid’s favourite apps?

They don’t have a favourite at the moment, I will most certainly be downloading Xander though!

What do you love about South Africa and raising your children here?

We have such a diverse and rich culture which we so easily take for granted here. I love that my kids are growing up in the midst of all of this diversity and that they are learning about it from their peers. We have driven the length and breadth of our country – from the Knysna forests to the deserts of the Kgalagadi; from turquoise blue waters at Noordhoek and Scarborough to the rich diversity of flora and fauna on the savanna plains and rolling hills in the Kruger National Park. My children have been spoiled by growing up with this and my hope is that they don’t ever take it for granted. They have been given a true gift, one which I hope that they will use to educate and pass on to others.

TV “Yes” or “No”?

Quite simply, yes.

What is in the lunchbox? 

I have such fussy eaters! They both get hot lunches at school and creche, so luckily I just need to pack snacks. For my oldest, its a cold meat sandwich with mini rice cakes, with a bottle of juice (she will refill with water for the rest of the day). She might pack a yoghurt if the mood grabs her. My son loves mini rice cakes, cocktail viennas, yoghurt and a mini block of cheese.

How do you balance it all – in one sentence? 

One sentence??

Making time for self care – to quote someone whose name I can’t remember: you can’t pour from an empty cup. So, even today’s self care is only hiding at the bottom of the garden with your cup of coffee for 5 minutes in the morning giving thanks for the day, make time for it.

I’m going to break the rules here (one sentence??) and I’m going to add that for me, balance is not about scales or daily schedules – some nights I have to stay at the office until 8 pm (or log on from home so I’m equally unavailable to Hubs and kids); some days I leave the office early to get extra time with Hubs and kids. On the whole, I try to make sure that I’m spreading myself equally and not too thinly;  I will go mad if I have to try and stick to a daily schedule to try and maintain this illusive “balance”.

Do your children do chores at home, if so what and how do you manage it? 

Yes, but I could be a bit more strict about it. Both pick up their toys and take dishes to the kitchen when asked; my daughter also packs the dishwasher and is responsible for putting her clean clothes away in her cupboard. They are both generally pretty willing to do their chores. If there is resistance or temper tantrums, punishment is to take something that they value away for a set period of time.

What is your favourite holiday plans/ activities with kids? 
Road trips, camping, sometimes with little to no cell service so we all switch off. If we are in a game park, we will go on game drives and learn about the animals in the area; if we are close to the sea or a river, Hubs will take them fishing and we will go swimming. We go for walks, play good old card games/bored games, let them play in the sand or mud all day – generally just reconnect as a family and let the kids be kids!

 

Catch up with Stacy on her blog here or on social media on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest.