Nectar & Spice – an interview (PLUS WIN)

Something a little different today. I’m interviewing Margaret Faasen, the amazing pastry chef and owner of Nectar & Spice.

If you don’t know, Nectar & Spice is an artisanal sweet boutique specialising in baked pastries, cakes and decorated sugar cookies. She’s created cookies for me for Harper’s first birthday, Christmas cookies, teacher gifts, and my cousin’s baby shower cookies. Not only are they little works of art, they taste amazing as well. Read more to learn about Margaret and Nectar & Spice.

Tell us more about yourself and what you do?
I like to think of myself as a creative problem solver. I love having to analyse a problem from different angles and figuring out the best solution. I also love working with colours, textures and patterns and creating something that is both practical and aesthetically pleasing. These elements all come into play with running a business like Nectar & Spice.

Nectar & Spice is a boutique bakery specialising in decorated sugar cookies but we also do cakes, tarts, cupcakes, brownies and many other treats and soon also events. We get to create, decorate, bake and design all while still being focused on exceptional service and amazing flavours – practical and beautiful!

Why did you start “Nectar & Spice”?
I’ve always known that I would like to be a business owner and that whatever type of business it will be it would have to challenge me both creatively and analytically as I fear stagnation.

On the other hand, I’ve been baking with my mom and gran since an early age and really enjoyed the process of creating something out of simple ingredients and seeing the enjoyment others get from eating these creations.

Nectar & Spice combined these two interests of mine.

What did you study – was it in the baking field or was it something completely different?
I have a Bachelor degree from Tuks in Consumer Science with specialization in Interior Merchandise Retail Management (interior designing being my other passion) and a Diploma in Pastry.

What was your first job and how did you progress to this?
My first job was working as an Au Pair. I just finished my degree but realised that I didn’t really know what I wanted to do with my life. I worked for a family for a couple of years while deciding what it was that I really would like to do with my life. I did my Diploma in Pastry and got the opportunity to move to Cape Town with my husband. Here I got a job as Head Chef at a small restaurant in Stellenbosch which I really enjoyed, but I felt undervalued and underappreciated. I decided to re-direct my dedication towards building my own business and Nectar & Spice was born.

What have been the highlights of starting your own business?
The constant, unfaltering support from my husband telling me each day how proud he is of me.

The amazing, positive feedback and encouragement I get from my family and complete strangers wanting to support me and what I do.

Seeing my business grow and being able to employ others.

What’s the best part of your job?
Getting to try new and interesting ideas.

Seeing a client’s face when they receive their cookies/cake

What is the most challenging part?
Knowing when to push and when to hold back.

Not having any guarantees.

Managing people.

What is your dream for Nectar & Spice?
To grow to be a household name in the Western Cape and known for exceptional service.

To create a space where people can celebrate the special moments in life.

Any tips for people wanting to take the leap and start their own business?
Be prepared to work long and hard with the pay-off often in the distant future. But be sure, if you keep at it and deliver consistent good service, it will pay off.

Please show me how the hell you make your cookies so incredibly perfect? Do you give lessons?
I do give lessons! The first class will be in our new venue for Easter. This class is already fully booked but I will be hosting one for Mother’s Day too.

Ultimately the trick is practice, practice, practice…

If you’d like to order anything from Margaret, please email her at nectarandspice@gmail.com. She can make almost anything in the shape of a cookie.

Margaret has kindly agreed to do a giveaway of one of her Easter hamper boxes. Winning is easy, just follow these steps.

  1. Follow Nectar & Spice on Instagram here
  2. Follow me on Instagram here
  3. Comment below and tell me which of Nectar & Spice’s cookies you like the most.
  4. For an extra entry, tag a friend on the Instagram post who’d love to win this Easter hamper (one tag + one entry)
  5. Giveaway closes on 16 April. The winner will be randomly selected and announced after 7pm that day.
  6. You’ll get an extra entry for sharing to your Insta-stories and tagging me.

IMPORTANT NOTE – only open to Cape Town peeps and the winner must be able to collect their prize at Nectar & Spice’s store in Bellville on 18 April before 5pm.

Good luck!

 

Rhodes Squish Review plus WIN

Have you ever celebrated a toddler eating just 1 spoonful of food? Or jumped up and down, made weird noises or stand on your head and do 100 cartwheels just to get that toddler to taste something new? Well, you’re not alone. I’ve done that and more 3 times over and I was so relieved when I discovered Rhodes Squish (and even more so when Harper tried it and loved it).

Convenience
The Rhodes Squish pouches are convenient and easy to use. Harper can now suck the puree straight from the pouch but before then, I just used to squeeze a little bit into a spoon and feed her. They are 100% natural and contain no nasties. There is no added sugar, salt, colorants, maize starch and flavorings.

Yoghurt Squish


Rhodes Squish has now added exciting new fruit and veg yoghurt purees and ready-to-eat jellies, adding to its popular 100% fruit and vegetable puree and 100% fruit and veg pressed juice ranges. The Squish yoghurts are made from 100% fruit and vegetables with double cream yoghurt, not yoghurt powder.

I don’t think you’re ready for this jelly


There’s more, Rhodes Squish has introduced four new ready-to-eat jellies. The jellies are free from gelatine, colourants, flavourings and preservatives, and are made with fruit puree. Harper loves the Mango and Rooibos jelly and gobbles it up within minutes. You won’t go wrong with Squish for a fuss-free, easy to use snack for your baby and toddler.

WIN
Do you want to stop stressing over meal times or cleaning up bowls of food that was thrown by your toddler? You can win a Squish hamper with a Zoku slushie maker for some awesome slushies, milkshakes, and smoothies.

How to enter
Follow Rhodes Squish on Instagram here
Follow me on Instagram here
Leave a comment telling me what lengths you’ve gone to to get your baby/toddler to eat.

For an extra entry, you can enter on Instagram.

Terms and Conditions

1. Closing date for entries will be 13 March 2019. After this date no further entries will be permitted.
2. You must reside is SA in order to qualify for the prize.
3. Your prize cannot be sold or redeemed for cash.
4. Winners will be drawn via a Random name generator.
5. The winner will be notified via email and has 42 hours to claim their prize. If the winner cannot be contacted or does not claim the prize within 2 days of notification, we reserve the right to withdraw the prize from the winner and pick a replacement winner.
6. Only one entry will be accepted per person. Multiple entries from the same person will be disqualified.
7. No responsibility can be accepted for entries not received for whatever reason.
8. Entry into the competition will be deemed as acceptance of these terms and conditions.

Win a Hasbro Hamper

In my last post, I gave some ideas of what to get the kids for Christmas. I touched on some Hasbro Gaming that is available. These games are perfect to keep kids busy this school holiday, whether you’re staying home or going somewhere spectacular. Kids are busy little creatures and get bored so easily, these are sure to be hit to keep the boredom at bay! Here is some more information on those games.

Speak Out
Get ready to be doubled over with laughter with this ridiculous mouthpiece challenge game! The Speak Out game brings friends and family together for laugh-out-loud fun as players try to say different phrases while wearing a mouthpiece that won’t let them shut their mouth. In the Speak Out game, players draw from the deck and read the phrase as best as they can, but it’s not so easy to do when the mouthpiece is hindering them from forming words correctly. The timer counts down as players try to say phrases such as “he’s my stealthy pet ferret name Garrett”, “slow down, you careless clown”, or “pelicans love pollywog falafels.” The laughter continues as players try to decipher what in the world their teammate is trying to say, and must correctly guess the phrase in order to earn the card. The team with the most cards at the end of the game wins.

Pie Face Cannon
The Pie Face Cannon game is a real “”blast”” as players take aim and “”pie”” their opponent with a cannon full of whipped cream (whipped cream not included,.) One player puts their chin on the chin rest behind the face mask. The other player aims the cannon and launches the whipped cream (whipped cream not included, additional purchase required). The player behind the mask can try to avoid getting “”pie-faced”” by using the blocking hand. Players earn points by either blocking themselves or by successfully “”pie-ing”” their opponent. The first player to get 5 points wins!

Fantastic Gymnastics
Get into the swing of things with this compelling and unique Fantastic Gymnastics game. Players time their speed and rhythm to gain momentum to flip the gymnast figure around the high bar. At the right moment, hit the release button to let him fly, and try to stick the perfect landing. Get him to land on the mat on his feet for the win! Play solo, head-to-head, or challenge friends to a tournament. Step-by-step instruction sheet also features tips for getting the perfect 100-point score.

Hearing Things
Who knows what’s going to come out of your teammate’s mouth? The Hearing things game, Hasbro’s twist on the online viral “”Whisper Challenge”” sensation has you guessing what you think your teammate is saying by reading their lips. One player puts on the speech-cancelling electronic headphones and the other player says the random phrase shown on the card such as, “”Pigeons like to cuddle”” or “”You’re the champ of the camp “”. The game headphones limit the player‘s ability to hear what their teammate is saying out loud, and the player has to figure it out to earn the card. The player with the most cards wins. The game comes with speech-cancelling electronic game headphones, and 150 cards with 600 phrases.

Don’t Lose Your Cool
Inspired by viral challenges that have gathered billions of views across the Internet, this game tests one’s ability to remain calm under pressure. Players wear the Cool-O-Meter unit that measures heart rate, and the opposing team rolls the dice that will determine how they’ll try to get a player to get flustered. For example, opponents might have to get up close to the player and sniff them, or make pig noises. If the player reacts -laughs, cringes, flinches, etc., their heart rate may go up and the meter will rise. They might think that they can hide their reactions, but the Cool-O-Meter will show what’s really going on! When the meter gets high enough, the lights get to red, the alarm will sound, and the opponent wins that round for making them lose their composure.

Don’t Step In It
Be careful not to poop out while playing this hilarious game with messy consequences! Put on a blindfold, spin the spinner, and then take that many steps across the game mat. But watch out! Little piles of compound, molded in the shape of poop have been strategically placed on the mat. Sometimes players will have to add a poop, remove a poop, or even re-arrange the poops along the mat. Who can avoid the number twos to be number one to win?

Blindfolded Twister
The game that ties you up in knots now features blindfolds and textured shapes for a touch of mystery and loads of fun! In the Blindfolded Twister game, players still move to spots on the mat, but now they do it wearing blindfolds and play completely by touch and memory. The player chosen as the Spinner calls out the moves on the game spinner, and then the players wearing blindfolds feel around the textured shapes with their hands and feet to move around the mat. Get ready for loads of laughs whether playing the game or just watching! It’s hilarious to see how players can end up in some really funny and awkward positions. Who will be the last player standing to win?

Hasbro has given me a Festive Hamper to giveaway to one lucky winner. All you need to do to win is complete the form below.

Hasbro Festive Hamper Giveaway

Competition closes on Monday at 12pm and winners will be announced on the blog and emailed.

Nappy Bag Essentials ~~WIN~~

I am no expert but I think with 3 kids, I’ve gotten the hang of packing a nappy bag. We don’t always get it right and  sometimes forget essentials (like wet wipes) but we’ve finally gotten to a point where we can pack a bag for 3 kids for a day outing without feeling like I’m carrying a mountain on my shoulder. Here’s my list of nappy bag essentials.

A good nappy bag
I’m currently swapping between my Lou Harvey bag and the Dischem baby bag I received last year. They’re both super easy to clean using a damp cloth and the Lou Harvey bag is waterproof, which I love.

Changing mat 
Both bags comes with a changing mat but if yours doesn’t, you can get this super cute fold up one from Clicks or this one from Carriwell.

Nappies
I normally pack in 5 nappies now but when Harper was younger, I used to pack in about 10 and hope that she didn’t decide to have one of those days where she pooped every 10 minutes.

Wet wipes
Most important item on this list. We use the Baby Dove wipes for everything from nappy changes to wiping Ethan’s sticky hands or Matthew’s dirty face. These wipes are amazing because unlike most wipes, the Baby Dove ones come out one by one. They’re soft and durable and can withstand Harper pulling and chewing them without tearing. Plus they have a great scent and are not too wet.

Bum cream
I pack the Baby Dove nappy cream in our bag as well as the Sudocrem Healing Cream. I’ll use the Baby Dove nappy cream with every change as it’s gentle enough for everyday use. I also love the rounded edge because Harper like to chew on it and I can leave her to it without worrying that she’ll cut her mouth with sharp edges. I use the Sudocrem when I see her little bum is starting to get a bit red.

Plastic bags (nappy sacks)
we use these for those dirty nappies that you don’t really want to put back into the bag when there’s no bin around. We also use it for any soiled clothing (think poonami or heavy spit up). Lifesavers! We are currently using these Baby Things Nappy Bags.

Cloth diaper or burp towels
we use those old school white cloth nappies for wiping Harper’s mouth after she’s drank her bottle (oh and her neck – like how does it always end up there) and for wiping her nose.

Spare outfit
Very NB. you never know when your baby is gonna have a blowout, spit up (or vom) majorly, or just start stinking from all that milk that ran down her neck (oh just my baby then). We normally do a vest, a grower, and a jersey/jacket (obviously all weather dependent).

Bottle and formula if you’re formula feeding
I would fill Harper’s milk bottle with the amount of cooled boiled water and get more wherever we are. Don’t be afraid to ask a restaurant for boiled water, they make coffee right? So they should have boiled water. We also use these formula dispensers to store her formula in the bag. Making it easier to just pour it over into the bottle without having to measure the correct quantities out.

Nursing cover or lightweight blanket if you’re breastfeeding
Oh my goodness, there are so many gorgeous nursing covers out there. When I was breastfeeding, I used my Aiden and Anais muslin blanket (as it’s very lightweight) or our old school white cloth nappy to cover up.

Spare dummy
If your baby is using one. Those little buggers have the know-how to get lost at the most inopportune time. A spare will save you from crazy stares and it’s small, so it won’t take up a lot of space in your bag.

Hand sanitiser
For those times when you can’t wash your hands, or your toddler touched the toilet seat when you took him to the loo and hand washing just won’t cut it. You get those mini’s that take up the tiniest bit of space.

Sun hat and beanie
Just in case it’s needed.

Muslin wrap or blanket
Muslin wraps can also be used over the pram when your bub has a snooze, a burp cloth, a change mat and as a feeding cover if you are breast feeding. I mentioned I used mine as a breastfeeding cover earlier. But it has so many uses!

First aid kit
We have a small one I got from Clicks that has a few plasters, an antiseptic ointment and some bandages for those inevitable scrapes and bruises.

Snack and juice bottle for toddler and other kids
Because they never want to eat when we’re out and always look for THEIR juice bottle or a packet of cheddars or a yogurt.

My purse and sunglasses
These are also put into the nappy bag because I really can’t be farted to walk around with 2 bags. I also have a mini makeup bag that has a lipgloss, a pad, a tampon and one of those sample perfumes in it.

Small toy
Our Sophie goes everywhere with Harper. Then I have 2 or 3 cars for the boys as well.

Sunblock spray
We use the spray from Nivea. It goes on quickly, leaves no greasy residue and you don’t have to rub it in.

Panado syrup/Nurofen
I try to always have these medicines in our bag because either Ethan will fall and knock his head, or Matthew will complain something is sore, or Harper will start to feel feverish. Just remember the syringe as well.

There you have it. Our nappy bag essentials for 3 kids. I’m surprised they all fit into the bag lol. And there was still loads of space for perhaps an extra jacket for each of the boys.

~~WIN~~
Want to win a Baby Dove hamper? Simply comment below with what your nappy bag essentials are. If you’re feeling up to it, you can give Baby Dove SA some love here. And if you’re not following me on Instagram, why not? Jokes but you’re missing  out on some content there. Competition runs until Friday, 30 November and the winner will be notified soon thereafter.

Baby Dove

Written in collaboration with Baby Dove

I’m sure you’ve heard the hype about the not so new anymore Baby Dove products. I can tell you, I really do love them. I’m not just saying that because they’ve collaborated with us to giveaway a little hamper but because that’s my honest opinion.

I started using the Baby Dove Sensitive Tip to Toe Wash not long after they launched here in SA. I was thrilled that I could immediately see a difference on Ethan’s eczema and that sold me. Granted I’ve heard mixed reviews about this from other moms but it worked for us.

Then, when Harper was born, I continued using the soap, nappy cream and lotion with her. People love that just washed baby smell but with the Baby Dove, that smell is even more pronounced and I had family and friends commenting on it constantly.

The biggest tip I received about choosing products for your baby’s skincare routine is to choose gentle and hypoallergenic products.

Hypoallergenic means that a product is less likely to cause an allergic reaction. It is better to opt for products that are both gentle and mild as well as hypoallergenic. Take the time to read the label and look out for products that have been dermatologically and paediatrically tested. Baby specific products are a must have, as they have been specifically designed for delicate baby skin.

Here’s a few of the Baby Dove products I’m currently using on my own children.

Baby Soap Use a rich moisture bar because it is designed for the adapted skin care needs of an infant, and is milder and more nourishing than ordinary baby soaps. Milder and more nourishing than ordinary baby soaps.

Baby Dove Rich Moisture Bar 75g – RSP R12.99

Baby lotion Baby moisturising lotion will help to replenish moisture lost during the day and nourish your baby’s delicate skin. Gently moisturizes for 24 hours.

Baby Dove Moisturising Lotion 200ml RSP R48.99

Nappy cream Like petroleum jelly, nappy cream is a barrier cream that prevents excess moisture from irritating skin that is constantly exposed to dampness. Neutralizes pH in seconds and immediately protects from redness. Instant comfort from the first use.

Baby Dove Rich Moisture Nappy Cream 45g RSP R34.99

Wipes Care for your baby’s sensitive skin with these fragrance-free baby wipes. Instantly moisturising and as gentle as water.

Shampoo Keep your baby’s hair and scalp clean, visibly healthy and soft with this moisturising baby shampoo. Hypoallergenic and tear-free.

Tip To Toe Wash A tear-free and hypoallergenic baby wash and shampoo that helps moisturise your baby’s delicate skin to keep it soft. Helps retain moisture all day.

Now for some good news! Baby Dove has given me 1 Mini Hamper to give away to a lucky reader (I’ll even add in 1 or 2 surprises from my own pocket).

HOW TO ENTER:
Comment on this post and tell me how old your child is.

FOR EXTRA ENTRIES:
For extra entries, please do the following:
> Subscribe to my blog
> Follow me on Instagram
> Like my page on Facebook

Competition closes 2 March and the winner will be announced on the Facebook page and emailed