Wednesday, 18 March 2015

I want your time-saving tips, moms

You’ve just got to ask yourself one question: what are you going to do with your time, punk?

Scratch the punk bit. Sorry. I’m not cool enough to pull it off. But the first bit is important.

I don’t know if it’s my age – as testified by my gradually sagging kneecaps – or that I’ve been sucked into the Cult of Busy, Busy, Busy, but time is now the most valuable thing that I own*. 

*And whether I actually own any of own time these days is up for debate.

Mike Stopforth said something interesting on his blog in his latest post: “The wealthiest people I know own their own time. If the money you have (or don’t have) gives you a degree of freedom to do with your time what you will, then you are rich. At the end you’ll realise time is all you ever had, and all you want more of.”

Let me give you a moment for that to sink in.

Time is all you’ll ever have, Mike says.

If I could buy more time, I would.  But it’s probably more expensive than Bitcoins dipped in beluga caviar. 

What I am good at is selling my time. By the hour, to the highest bidder… Sometimes I sell hours that I don’t even have. Hours that I should be using to exercise, sleep and eat. Hours earmarked to spend with my family…

I find myself time-poor, scrounging around in the dumpsters of every wasted minute scrolling through tweets or reading Buzzfeed bullshit to find leftovers. Looking for ways to increase my output, squeeze out an extra 20 minutes, a “10 ways to boost your productivity” junkie.

It used to be simpler.

You know how they say if something is important that you’ll make time for it? Is there an instruction manual for that? Because if we can wave a wand and “make time”, I’m all in for it.

You all left such heartfelt comments on my Mom Bosses post that I was wondering if you’d share with me again. 

What are your time-saving tips? 

Stay at home moms, working moms, entrepreneur moms, hectic job title moms… Let’s pool our ideas.

I’ll start: I’m terrible at staying up late at night to catch up on work, so I set my alarm to get me out of bed at 4am so that I can squeeze in an extra 2 hours while the boys are still buried under their duvets. Although for the last few weeks, this has been highly theoretical.

Now you – how are saving time and (dare I say it – yes I do) cutting corners to get the most out of the measly 24 hours we have every day?
Blogger Tricks

Thursday, 12 March 2015

Home is where the heart is. And your stuff, don’t forget your stuff.

Sponsored post

I can't believe it’s March already. We have made so many memories in 2015.

We kicked off the new year with beach sand between our toes, and then in February my other half and I enjoyed a pre-Valentines Day break in the bushveld with elephant-back rides and Amarula on ice at sunset. Then a couple of weeks ago we got to spend some time over the Cabanas at Sun City.

It sounds glam, but actually all these mini-breaks have been work-related. In reality, the purse strings are pulled tighter than ever.

It’s funny though, because I don’t think that’s how I’ll be remembering this year when I look back on it. For me, it’s been all about the quiet moments I have been able to spend with my boys. Oliver finally joined his brother Ryan in nursery school, so now I am packing school bags for all my kids in the mornings. Travis is now in respite care every second weekend, so when he is at home he gets extra cuddles. When he lets me, of course.

We all get stuck on not having enough cash in our pockets or time, and the fear of leaving our possessions at home for long periods of time. Whether you’re at work, or away for the weekend.

Take on this yea­r with a fresh start, do the little things, and with King Price’s super cheap car and household contents insurance premiums that decrease every month, you can insure the important things in your home so you don’t need to worry – you will also be left with that extra bit of cash in your pocket, so you can afford to take the family out for a froyo with extra toppings.

For more about how you can insure your household goods and how to save that little bit of extra cash and time every month, contact King Price for a car or household contents insurance quote.

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Forget girl bosses. I want to talk about mom bosses.

I need to talk about something.

No, not about how Trav’s losing his milk teeth and swallowing them and I’ll never get the satisfaction of doing the Tooth Fairy song-and-dance until my ruggle kids start losing teeth.

Not about 3-year-olds and potty training and how everything smells like pee. Tiny underpants. Bedding. Towels. Everything. When does it end?

Not about first words, and separation anxiety and temper tantrums, and all those things that make up raising a 21-month-old baby boy.

That’s parenting stuff. And this is a parenting blog. But for months now I have been consumed with meeting the needs, and tracking the milestones, of my other baby: my business.

Is that bad?

I second-guess the wisdom of trying to build an “agency” out of a (previous) one-woman freelance-fantastic All The Time. As proud as I am of all we have achieved since moving into our offices in June last year – landing clients, scouting for talent, hunting for the perfect coffee table for our 41m2 space (yes, that’s a thing) – I also know this:

The first 7 years of your child’s life are the most important. And I’m not present, at least not in the way that I should be.

And I ALSO know this: at least 80% of parenting is just showing up. Being there.

I am so blessed to be part of a partnership where my husband can pick up the slack in the parenting department. He drives the boys to school and fetches them for me. He buys groceries and cooks dinner. Last night he told me that he’s added little reminders to his Google Calendar like: “Tuesday is Library Day for Ryan” and “Remember to pack mattress covers into school bags”.

I was touched beyond words.
Show of hands everyone whose husband has childcare-related notes in in their calendar.
I thought so.

He does all this while also seeing to clients of his own during working hours. Then he works on weekends at track events, and I get to spend some time with the boys.

There aren’t many businesswomen who have this kind of spousal back-up. Or are there, and I just don’t know about it? Does “it” only work when one parent focuses on childcare and the other on bringing home the bacon?

And this brings me to the point of this blog post:

Where are the women-run agencies in South Africa? Women running their own businesses in social, digital and media – with teams underneath them? (Obviously this is my field, but any industry, really. You know what I am talking about!)

Specifically, women who are also mothers. So not “Girl Bosses” but rather “Mom Bosses”.

WHERE ARE YOU? I need to talk to you.

I have so many questions. I want to know what you’re going through. I want to see you up on stage at events talking about what you do; I want to know how you manage your time; I want to know what your productivity secrets are – I want to know if you think it’s worth it and why, and how do you know?

Do you think that female bosses are different from male bosses?

What’s your morning routine – do you have a kick-ass gym playlist? Green tea? I start my day with Instagram and cheap coffee.

Do you feel the need to be well-groomed all the time to set an example? Even when you have a 90% chance of getting Weetbix goop on your pants before you leave the front door? Do you feel more judged on your appearance than male entrepreneurs do? (For some reason male entrepreneurs get to wear sneakers and T-shirts, and that just makes them cooler – but I promise you: that shit won’t fly with my clients.)

What sort of support systems do you have? Do you also get annoyed when colleagues say: “You have three kids! How do you balance work and family life?” (I mean really, is that a mandatory question to ask all female professionals who just happen to be mothers too? It’s a good question, I just wish it wasn’t the only question.)

Do you ever offer to leave work a bit earlier to fetch the kids from nursery school and then the teacher is like: “Oh, I haven’t seen you in ages!” and you want to drop a heavy backpack on his/her toe for rubbing salt in the wound? Somehow, I just can’t see them saying that to a dad.

How does your work affect your marriage? Power struggle, anyone?

What motivates you? Is it carving out a better financial future for your family; are you just really, really excited by the work you’re doing and your industry? Bit of both?

Do you ever worry that you are missing out on your kid’s childhood? That one day you’ll bank that million, and your sons will be angry teenagers who don’t give a stuff that they went to good schools that you sweated blood to pay for, because you were never around?

How do you retain traditional “mom” qualities like “nurturing” when you are chasing deadlines and bottom lines and managing a team of people? These are not things you can afford to be “soft” about. This is business.

Or am I wrong, and we can be nurturing in the workplace?

Where are you, mom bosses?

I’ve been sitting on this blog post for ages, worried that potential clients would read it and think: “Um, Stacey’s clearly a mess – let’s not work with her.”

But the truth is, I’ve never been more focused, organised and confident.

About work. I love what I do. I am excited about my industry.

But this tricksy working mom thing – now that’s what’s getting messy.

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Are you a special needs family in need of a short break?

If you live in Gauteng, and are considering respite care for your special needs child, then this is for you.

Our Lionheart goes to Little Gems Residential and Respite Care​ every second weekend (the actual house is called Oakhaven), and it has changed our lives, and his.

He is so happy there: the care is high quality, and there is so much to do.

Little Gems has a special offer for you, if you would like to give respite care a try. Every month, Kerry will give away a weekend stay to a family in need.

(If you just want to skip this lucky draw option, and go ahead at book your special kiddo in for a night or two, the rates are R500 per night Monday to Thursday, and R650 per night Friday to Sunday.)

Check them out at, and visit their Facebook page to see behind-the-scenes photos of the facilities and the children who visit there. You might just spot Travis the Lionheart in some of them.

Friday, 13 February 2015

3 pocket-friendly kids activities in Jozi

Sponsored post

I’m still feeling my short change shaking after Januworry. It really is the most dreadful month of the year. My pockets are as flat as my practical ‘mom’ shoes. Still, that doesn’t mean you can’t still have some frugal fun with the kids over the weekend.

King Price knows this very well. You know how King Price works, right? It’s those super cheap car insurance premiums that decreases every month, so your February doesn’t turn into January déjà vu.

In the spirit of saving your pennies, King Price asked me to share my hot list of pocket-friendly kids activities for the month of February. These are obviously Jozi-based, because the Lionheart family lives in the best darn-tooting city in South Africa. Sorry for you, Cape Town.

  • Sci-Bono is still crazy value for money. I mean, the entrance fee is R20 for kids and you can watch a magic science show, explore the exhibits, and aeroplanes suspended from the ceiling.
  • Throw a blanket on the grass and have a picnic at the Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens. We live pretty nearby, and there is a waterfall and a choo-choo train that you can hop on. Entrance is R12 for kids, R35 for adults. That’s right, I said choo-choo.
  • Planetarium. Any excuse to go to the planetarium. It’s R27 per person and for the next three Saturdays they are doing a show called “Space Travel!” for 5-8 year old kids. And big kids. 

Where’s your favourite cheapie family outing in the city? Tell me, so that I can take my boys one of these weekends…

Find out more about car insurance and how to save every month so that you can enjoy these outings even more, contact King Price for a quote.