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Mini Me

Travelling With a Toddler

As you read this we have just arrived overseas with our toddler in tow. It took us a marathon 30 plus hours of travel – including stopovers – something I would highly recommend for any parents planning on traveling with a toddler.

When I was telling people that we were going to Europe with our toddler we faced a lot of mixed reactions. Most people were questioning why we would travel with a toddler? People raised the disruption of said toddlers schedule (what schedule?) and the inability to do the fun things we would be able to do on our own.

My thoughts were – “no one was there when we made the baby so why should we expect other people to look after our creation so we can travel?‘. Plus, hubby and I are grown, so the idea of partying throughout our whole holiday just isn’t as appealing as it was in our twenties. Of course, we will sneak in one or two date nights  – we are only human – but we are happy to have moved past that partying stage.

Back to traveling with a toddler – when it comes to parenting, and to a lot of people’s surprise, I am a person that just goes with the flow. I learned pretty early on that in order to manage any situation that arises you need to have a rough plan and resources at hand and just deal with what’s in front of you – there and then.

From my recent personal experiences, these are my top tips for traveling with a toddler:

  1. In your hand luggage have at least two changes of clothes – you never know what will happen up in the air.
  2. One can never have too many diapers. I packed one diaper for every hour that we traveled – seems excessive but you don’t want to get caught out!
  3. Pack snacks and food that your toddler is accustomed to – because, well, we all know how unappealing plane food is.
  4. My little one can be fussy about the bottle she drinks from so I made sure I had her favorite bottle/s on hand to keep her hydrated throughout the flight.
  5. Carry familiar toys and books that will keep them entertained – I found that stickers and play dough were a big hit!
  6. If you can, travel later in the day – this will help to line up nicely with their sleep routine, especially as you transition across time zones.
  7. Arrange a stopover (2-3 hours max). During this time let them run around the airport so you can all stretch your legs and consequently reduce the toddler’s energy.
  8. Create rapport with the stewards – they will be your lifelines – i.e. they’ll help to heat up your food and provide extra snacks and toys for your little one.
  9. Make sure that when the toddler sleeps you sleep, otherwise you will be in a world of pain.
  10. Just relax – kids sense anxiety and tension and mirror it. If you take it easy during the flight they will too. Calm mum, calm toddler they say.

Truth is, I am very lucky to have an easy going, up-for-anything kind of toddler – but if you have any other tips that would help other parents who travel with their toddler please, share in the comments section.

IamTinashe

In My Humble Opinion

Pursuit Of Happiness

Happiness

Pronounced [hap-ee-nis]

Noun

1. the quality or state of being happy.

2. good

I feel like as I get older it really doesn’t take much to make me happy.

If you had asked me to define happiness a few years ago I would have written paragraphs upon paragraphs of criteria to fit the bill.

Nowadays, it really is the simple things that make the difference.

In no particular order:

I married to the man of my dreams and have been blessed with off spring.

I am healthy, spiritually grounded, of sound mind and working in an occupation that I studied at university.

We have shelter, clean water to drink and freedom to do as we please.

My pantry and fridge are packed to the rafters, giving me endless options to create delicious meals for my loved ones.

Laundry, which can get out of control with a toddler is done – all our clothes are ironed and packed away nicely.

The house is super clean – floors are vacuumed and mopped, bench and table tops are wiped and everything is in its place.

My wardrobe is only filled with things I love and feel fantastic in when I wear them.

My make up collection is simple collection of things I need and use on a daily basis.

Above all I am surrounded by love and the people that I love, could not ask for anything more.

Practising daily gratitude has taught me to find immense joy even in the simplest things.

IamTinashe
Dress – IamTinasheCustom | Belt – Country Road | Shoes – Wittner
My Life

Living With Purpose

It’s funny how we all pass through life’s infamous rut. Work. Eat. Exercise. Drink. Sleep. Clean The House. Laundry. Are you really living? I mean, living with purpose.

You owe that much to yourself – tomorrow is not guaranteed. Something a lot of us forget. We get caught up in the detail and forget to look at the bigger picture.

Oddly, I have been thinking about this, lately –  A LOT. Living with purpose – a minimalist approach to existence. One without emotional, physical, or financial baggage.

As such, and in no particular order, my areas of focus at the moment are:

Sleep more – As parents we have now reached a point where our little one is sleeping through the night. Time to payback the sleep debt. Reverse the aging process

Partake in vigorous exercise daily – I am already doing this but I want to push myself harder and see the changes are long for in the mirror.

Consume more water – This is something I have never been good at but I am determined to master it  – my body will thank me.

Be conscious of time Apart from money, time is the only other thing that we as humans measure – I need to wholly embrace this. Make time for myself.

Heart Race – Remind myself daily that I am growing up not old and do something that scares me each day.

Talk less, listen more – when you actively listen to others you learn so much. 

Last but not least….learn to relax more, master the art of doing nothing.

These listed items are all a series of adjustments that will take time. I’ll get there.

African Print Dress – IamTinashe Custom |  Heels – Wittner
IamTinashe 

 

In My Humble Opinion

4:44 | Album Release

Those who know me know that I have always loved music. Music has accompanied me through the highs and lows of life and often given me the inspiration to want more for myself and to do better.

When I heard that Jay – Z was going to release a new album, I wasn’t really sure how to feel. To me, the last album was mildly entertaining – it felt forced, i.e. a track titled Tom Ford. This release back in 2013 had me wondering – has he lost his touch?

As a long time fan of Jay – Z, I was looking for something different. In this new album, titled 4:44, he didn’t disappointment – he came out dropping word bombs! The subject matter is on-point and he seems to have matured. The album content is like an early Christmas present for people aged 30+ who are going through real life events – sexuality, marriage, babies, buying houses, cars, working 9- 5. His audience has grown and Jay Z talks right at us – offering game.

I believe in full disclosure – and if I am honest as I write this I haven’t even listened to the album. I tried to sign up to Tidal just so that I could listen to the album – but being the true hustler that is Jay – Z, he was ahead of us and blocked that ability. I guess that’s what we get for “not supporting black businesses” right? Apparently, there will be a mass release later on the week.

Thank God for social media! I have pretty much heard all of the songs on YouTube (not in their entirety, just snippets) so I have a rough idea of the beats and production. Without the ability to listen to the music, I turned my attention to the lyrics and boy oh boy are they JUICY! Reading the lyrics you get the sense that Jay – Z is at a point in his life where he just doesn’t care what anyone thinks – letting it all hang out there – on his terms.


The key messages I have taken away, just from reading and absorbing the lyrics, are:

Generational wealth. My husband and I often speak about this at home. The reason people of colour often have to start from scratch every time is because parents don’t have enough or do to survive their lifetime – often unable to give their children a head start. Yes, history is responsible for a lot of this, but what are we going to do in our present to ensure that our kids’ future is different? Better education, Investing money for long-term gain etc.

That elevator incident? Solange whooped Jay – Z’s ass because he cheated (or was cheating) on Beyonce. On the album Jay – Z publicly apologises – they have moved on and as spectators I guess we need to move on too (yikes, the Beyhive will be mad as hell).

Like most of us, Jay isn’t feeling the new Kanye. We want the old Kanye, the soulful Kanye.

In the album his mother comes out as a lesbian and he supports her. Hip – hop is notorious for discriminating those that choose to have same-sex relationships – as a hip-hop heavyweight highlighting this subject matter in a positive light is important.


That’s all that I could get my head around for now, without having a listening party in my car as I commute to and from work. I just can’t wait until this album is widely available! Ten songs, thirty – six minutes long and full of loaded content. 4:44 is black art that will take a long time to be fully dissected.

One other thing – before I sign off,  I feel like I need to apologise to Beyonce. I have always been a massive fan of her – until ironically she released Lemonade. Back then, I thought she had become a sellout. A sell out because I thought she had created this fictional story of infidelity in her marriage to sell records. Jay – Z’s release of 4:44 proves otherwise. I am sure I am not the only one who is listening to “Lemonade” with a new found appreciation.

Marriage is hard – you and your spouse need to be reading the same book, on the same page, turning to read the next chapter in unison. Above all, it is nice to see a black family who, against all odds, remained strong and most importantly, together.

My Life

What’s Going On?


Just like that we find ourselves in the middle of the year. Anyone else feel like they blinked and they jumped from January to mid-2017?


As I write this our toddler is taking her nap, husbae is on the computer working, and I am lounging on the couch, typing this blog post from my iPhone.

I was looking over my blog site and realized that I hadn’t been giving this area of my life some love – so let’s fix that right now. Let me give you a run down on what has been happening.

Hair:
Natural hair in corporate Australia is still a rarity, with many professional women choosing straight hairstyles achieved using wigs or weaves. I’ve always been someone that marches to their own beat – so for the month of May I wore my hair in Havana twists. I have worn this hairstyle countless times, but if I am honest, this time around I really wasn’t feeling it. No matter how many YouTube videos I watched I couldn’t inspire myself to really rock the hair. It weighed me down – maybe even changing the way I felt and acted. It was weird, I just could not shake the feeling. This month I am going to opt for something low key and easy.

Clothes:
If you watch my Instagram videos you know that I have been putting in work to get back in shape. This hard work has slowly slowly been paying off and I have found myself fitting into some of my pre – mommy clothes. Examples of last months highlights below:


Fitness:
Last month I purchased a Fitbit and you know what –  I have not looked back. It honestly has been one of  the best decisions ever. We have created a group of 8 women and it’s game on all day, every day. Each day I literally give it my all just so that I can hopefully be crowned the winner at the end of the week. But it’s hard – these people do not let up!  My competitive streak keeps pushing me harder so I am hitting targets and shredding some of this baby fat. No more looking at the scales on the verge of tears.


There you have it, a summary of the last month!

Of course, I am still busy juggling being a wife, mother, working professional and a woman who still wants a social life. The only way I survive and accomplish it all is by living in the moment and giving my all to each task that I set myself.

How are you doing?

IamTinashe

Mini Me

Things I Have Learnt Living With A Toddler

When I look at my daughter now I can’t believe that this time last year we were clapping at the fact she could sit by herself – back then it seemed like quite the achievement.

She has grown so much and these days she is Miss Independent – eating, walking, and running unaided, and her vocabulary is growing broader with each day that passes.

Can I just say – Hi five if you’re a new parent! You’re going a great job! Or perhaps you’re still enjoying uninterrupted sleep, and will have kids one day. Or your kids are grown and you are just reading this to relive the experience through someone else’s eyes. Either way, I am glad that you are here.

Living with a toddler can, at times, be very challenging but all so rewarding! So let me share the top ten things I have learnt living with a toddler.

  1. Try moving them when they don’t want to go to said place. It’s impossible! My daughter just turns her legs to jelly. Moving her only makes her drag her legs on the floor. To move her I have to physically pick her up.
  2. You can be laughing one moment – really enjoying each other’s company – and next moment a tantrum is in full effect. It’s hard to comprehend the full range of feelings that this little person can experience. i.e. giving her a pink spoon when she wanted the green spoon can set her off. Don’t laugh at her – I made that mistake once- it only makes things worse. Haha
  3. Regular Sleep and food are necessary – without them you will be dealing with a little monster. Think this goes for bub and mum really.
  4. They will push boundaries. It’s subtle at first but every now and again you will find yourself saying, stop, no, don’t – regularly!
  5. They love a good song. Turn on a tune – any tune – could be a Good Guys commercial – they will dance or start waving their hands in delight.
  6. Silence is scary. It’s almost certain they are up to something naughty. No, you’re not paranoid.
  7. When I go grocery shopping alone it feels like a mid week vacation. Hear a child crying – a similar cry to your child’s in aisle six – and you just about have a panic attack – “how did they find me?”
  8. Household appliances – they are no longer just for the invented use, they will find ways to use them as a toy. i.e. now that she can open the fridge on her own, I have to close the fridge 50 times in a row because she likes to look at what it in the fridge, point at random things and say “more”. Cute the first time – not so much the 50th time.
  9. You sit back and reminisce about all those times you needed to set an alarm to wake up in the morning. Let’s all take a moment to laugh.
  10. All above are true but I would do it all in a heartbeat for the love, hugs, kisses and joy that the little princess gives us.

Have you had the toddler experience? I would love to about it…

For those wondering Tasima’s outfit details are For those wondering Tasima’s outfit details are Denim Shirt – Cotton On, Tutu – Kardashian Kids Collection, Shoes – Zara.

IamTinashe