Expert advice for those day one natural hair questions 

There are so many natural hair questions! So many things Naturalistas want to get to the bottom of before taking the big step, or big chop. Today I share answers from an expert because I am the first to admit that unlike my eyeliner, I’m winging this.
THE Amanda Cooke, better known as Mandy from Cape Town Curly (one of the organisers of the annual The Cape Town Natural Hair Fest and my personal hair crush) has answered the top natural hair questions that seem to be plaguing newbies (judging by my inbox) so here goes

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Chase Rhys…curly countdown

I haven’t done a curly countdown in ages so I thought it might be fun to include a dude for a change. Our curly guy is Cape Town Writer and performing artist Chase Rhys.

The 28-year-old from Ocean View outside Cape Town is the winner of the inaugural Adam Rosalie Small Award for Debutant writers for his play, Kinnes.

He wrote his first play, Kinnes to honour the lives of the children who are victims of violence on the Cape Flats and to ask why the most vulnerable people in our communities are not adequately protected.

I love the concept of the play and the subject matter is something that has bothered me since I was old enough to understand the impact of what  I was reading in the news. It is so awesome to see young writers achieve, but then on the other side of this, I must say THAT HAIR THO…here is his curly countdown

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Real Wahms of SA: Kat teaches

Today we chat to Kath Kenyon, she has taken her love of learning and turned it into a career 🙂
She does private tutoring and has found real joy in watching others learn…here is her story 🙂

Tell us about your family
I am a mom of two, living with my husband, who’s an engineer.
I have a nine year old boy and a two year old little girl.
Why did you become a work from home mom
I was teaching in the State sector and just got sick of the admin and the internal politics.  I was in the fortunate position that my husband supported my choice to venture forth and set up private practice.
What was the most unexpected part of becoming a wahm
How much of an emotional roller coaster it can be, and how rewarding too.
What has been the hardest part
Finding students for my morning slots.  There are lots of children for lessons after school, but I found that many homeschool parents are very wary of professionals.  
What is the most rewarding
Watching children’s faces light up when they grasp a concept, and also being told by the Department of Education that they wished they could “lock me in a cupboard so they could tap into my skills whenever they need them” when I had to terminate working with a particularly dangerous boy  with whom I had managed to achieve a great deal more than had happened beforehand in his life.
What is your day like
I do the school run for my own children, before starting to teach at 8.  I teach till 11 and then have a break until 2:30, when I teach again until 4:30
Tell us about your business
I am a private remedial teacher.  I offer individual and small group lessons as well as tailor made workshops for those parents where private lessons are beyond the budget.  I also offer training for teachers at schools and am trying to find ways of improving inclusive education in South Africa.  If possible, I would love to collaborate on designing a specialist curriculum for children that will equip them with basic skills in Independent Living.  
Where did business idea and name come from
My name is Kathryn, often shortened to Kath or Kat, so I decided to incorporate that and I also wanted to ensure that people knew a bit about my business from the name — hence the Learning Kat brand.
What sets you apart
I try to find ways to help children where extra lessons are a luxury — by training teachers and parents in techniques they can use themselves.  I also use a multisensory approach to learning and find that a personalised curriculum allows me to do this best, so I use the child’s interests in designing an integrated curriculum that will develop a range of skills through different activities delivered within a theme — such as minibeasts.  Where we are learning about a variety of creatures, their habitats, food webs, ecology, mathematical skills in the form of data handling, addition, subtraction, fractions, comprehension skills, creative writing, art and more.  We have a wormery,, and farm and tadpole nursery set up to keep it real.


Real Wahms of SA: Lauren does speech therapy and EVERYTHING else

Today’s interviewee is not typical (but hey who is)  she wasn’t sure if she fit into the wahm box as she is a speech therapist,  bakes cupcakes and cakes to order, studies teaching and is an agent for two companies while taking care of her mom who is recovering from  brain surgery. ( I wasn’t sure if she wasn’t actually a superhero or a robot)
I had to take some time to even fully process what this woman’s days must be like and am inspired already… Also I kind of feel like a lady of leisure after reading this, she puts me to SHAME 🙂
Here Lauren’s story
Tell us about your family:
I live in Clanwilliam with my husband, Shaun, and our amazing 15 month old girl, Mila. My mom is staying with us for a while as she is recovering from cancer and brain surgery. I try to spend as much time as I can at home, Mila is learning so many new things now, and I want to stimulate her as much as I can.
Why did you become a work from home mom:
 I used to work at a well-established speech therapy practice in Cape Town, but decided I want to start my own practice so that I can have my own hours and be my own boss. At the time we were also planning on having a baby, so it would have been perfect to work from home.
What was the most unexpected part of becoming a wahm:
 The amount of time that I had to spend away from home!
What has been the hardest part:
All the admin! At the previous practice we had a receptionist that made all our call, did all of our admin, filing, etc. Now, with all of the different things I’m doing, I have so much more admin, and nobody to help with it.
What is the most rewarding:
 Knowing that I worked hard during the week and being able stay at home on a Friday and have pajama day with my baby J
What is your day like:
Every day is different. On a Monday and Tuesday mornings I’m free to do as I please, I follow up on orders, reply to emails and plan my week. Sometimes I bake or do deliveries. In the afternoon I go fetch two kiddies and bring them to my home for extra homework help (I help them on Mondays to Thursdays).
On Wednesday and Thursday mornings I see a couple of kiddies for speech therapy, then I spend a few hours with my baby until I go fetch the homework kids.
If I bake, I usually do it on a Friday as most birthday parties and babyshowers are on Saturdays. The rest of the Friday is all mine!
In between all of this I try and see my mom for therapy for at least an hour a day, do assignments for university, do the shopping, cooking & cleaning, and sleep!
Tell us about your business:
 My practice is registered as Lauren Taljaard Speech Therapy, but I wear so many hats that I don’t have a company or company name.
What sets you apart:
A lady commented on my cupcakes and told me “I love your cupcakes because you love your cupcakes”. I love everything I do, be it baking or giving speech therapy, and the fact that I do it out of love first and necessity last shows in my work.
Where do you see it going:
In an ideal world I would be a speech therapist for two mornings a week and run a playgroup for two mornings a week and be with Mila in the afternoons, and have enough cupcake and cake orders to keep me busy all day on a Friday. I want to keep my weekends open for family time, which to me is the most important time of all.
Also if you in the Clanwilliam area contact her for cuppity cakes
* If I contacted you about an interview and you have not been featured yet feel free to drop me a line I have quite a few interviews in the pipe line SERIOUSLY had no idea how many Wahms there were in the country!!! LOVING THIS SERIES!!! hope you do to 🙂

The real Wahms of SA – Lindsay on Faith

It’s Wahm Wednesday around these parts but today is a little different, I had originally asked Lindsay to write a guest piece on faith but when I started the Wahm series I realised that she fit into this category as well, so instead of the usual Wahm interview, here is Lindsay chatting about her business (which is super cute printed kids clothes) under the banner of No Fear Just Faith…A mid week shake up 🙂 Also it’s her super cute son, Josh’s birthday today so send her love 🙂
Stepping out in Faith


I’ve always wanted to branch out and start my own little business, but I was never sure on how to actually get it started.


This dream started when I fell pregnant with my 1st born, I loved being on maternity leave, bonding with my precious baby and just being a Mom was perfect for me. Being able to celebrate week after week how he had progressed, ticking off his milestones, pure bliss. Not that it was an easy period at all, there was many other drama’s happening in the background and I had made the decision to be a Single Mom, really this was my first step of Faith, which was hard but due to circumstances it was safer and better for us, but us, my bond with my little boy kept growing stronger. During the period of his first year I took the next step of faith, I resigned from my job, which I had spent 5 years and stepped from the financial industry to the medical sector. Thankfully Admin work is similar no matter where you go. I was nervous, I was a single Mom but I knew I wanted to give my son the best I could.


“You call me out upon the waters
The great unknown where feet may fail
And there I find You in the mystery
In oceans deep
My faith will stand”

Hillsong United, Oceans (My theme song)


I started 2 weeks after Dan’s 1st birthday and immediately felt like I was home. That is exactly what I needed to foster my creative mind for the next 5 years. I didn’t walk into a company, I was welcomed into a family . We’ve gone through highs and lows together, we lost people together and welcomed new babies into our families together.  Carl, bless his soul during this period had to listen to me babble on and on about starting a business.


After I had Josh this need, this deep desire flared up in full force. I envied the stay at home Moms, I envied the work from home Moms (Big props to you ladies and  some of the Dads, I know its hard and your hours are ridiculous and its not always fun but you’re present and that’s what I craved, to be present in their lives, more than I was), I so desperately wanted to be the Mom who can attend school events (during the day) and be actively involved in the boys education, and do play dates, and spend afternoons in the park while enjoying the sunshine. I wanted all of this, but I love my comfort zones and stability that comes with working for a stable company. But one day I will God willingly be there.


It was such a huge decision for me to leave my team, in March I took my next step of faith. I packed up my desk, I said my goodbyes and I left.


On 1st April 2015 I started my new job (thankfully still within the same company, just a completely different environment and a long drive to Stellenbosch daily).  Its amazing what working in a healthy and positive environment can do for you for ones soul. I felt recharged, my energy levels are back up and most importantly I’ve become a tad more positive.


Roll on August and we kicked it off with launching “Love Made Me”, the something small I’ve been wanting to do for forever, another BIG step of Faith. I really could not have done this without my Husband. I have said it before and will continue to say it, this man, knows my heart. He is my biggest supporter and fiercest critic. He motivates me to a point where I could possibly throat punch someone. But I know, at the end of the day he’s just pushing this comfort zone prone procrastinator into the right direction. See I battle with making decisions, and he loves making decisions. Perfect Team! I dream, he makes it happen and we build on it together.


You may ask why I chose “Love Made Me” as a name for our business, well this has been in my heart for so long, and through Faith and Love I was able to start my business.


I take nothing for granted, I am where I am because of God’s Amazing Grace (even have the tattoo to prove it) in my life, in our lives. This is special to me and I hold our new baby very close to my heart.


If you’re keen to see some designs or would like a custom made item then hop over to my Facebook Page “Love Made Me” or feel free to drop me a mail at and I will happily do my best to accommodate your needs.
Alternatively you can always see what we’re up to by following my blog, “ What Happened to my Body?where I try and share the good, the tough and the fun side of life and parenting while trying to embrace my lumps, bumps and wonderful post baby body. Having kids has changed every aspect of my life, and changed my body in so many ways but I rock my Mom rolls proudly!


Mel and her faith in “someone elses plan”

I really love this No Fear Just Faith series, I love how it means something different to everyone tasked with writing a piece. Today we have a blogger who I have mentioned here and here before, Melanie Blignaut,  I love her realness and her views of princesses and cartoons and I am starting to forgive her for putting that stupid bubble guppies song in my head yesterday….

In my final year of varsity, while completing my BA (Dramatic Art) at Wits, I found myself uncertain about what I wanted to do next. After four years of drama, I knew that I didn’t particularly want a career in the industry.

Those four years had challenged my faith. I never doubted God or his love for me, but I wasn’t always consistent in living out my faith. Perhaps it was because I never really rebelled as a teen, but I made a lot of mistakes in those years.

I knew, at the end of it, that I needed to be serving God and not myself.

That December, I joined a group of young adults from our church who were running a life skills workshop at a local primary school.

During that week of the workshop, I felt God nudging me toward something, and I spoke to our youth pastor. I decided to commit the next year to serving on our church’s schools ministry team. What this entailed was teaching Life Orientation at three local primary schools, as well as helping run the Friday night junior youth group and July holiday programme.

It was a good year for me.

I reconnected with church friends I had drifted from while studying, and I also grew in my faith and desire to continue serving the Lord. God also gave me the desire to use my gifts for him, so that year a friend and I wrote and directed a Christmas play at church. This play was the starting point for our church’s drama ministry.

I started my year on the schools team not knowing what the future held. I had to give up all my plans, all my concerns and simply trust that God had a plan, he was in control, and he would provide all that I needed.

My biggest lesson that year was really seeing God’s faithfulness. I had to trust him to provide my financial support, for one thing, but also in a more personal, intimate capacity. I had to trust that he had placed me on the team, that he was working in me and through me, and that he would show me the next step to take.

As I look back on my life so far, I can see how he was guiding me all along, even when I wasn’t paying attention. I can see how has used the people he brought into my life to grow me, to encourage me, and to teach me.

While I regret some of the choices I made as a student, I don’t regret studying drama or going to Wits. I made great friends there. I met my husband there. My husband and I now run our church’s drama ministry together, which just goes to show that you never know how God is going to use you and the people he places in your life. His plans for my life have been so much better than mine!