Celebrate Life Ball | 28 June 2014 Val de Vie Estate

Celebrate Life Ball Invite_Public

 

About the Celebrate Life Ball

The Celebrate Life Ball (CLB) was birthed out of a desire by Mrs. South Africa 2014, Chané de Kock, to use a celebration as a vehicle for doing good. We are all connected with our fellow man, yet we live worlds apart. The CLB brings these two worlds together. It reminds us of our blessings and that we have much to celebrate, but it also encourages us to be a blessing to others. Aramex South Africa is proud to be the official sponsor of the Celebrate Life Ball. It promises to be a fun-filled and glamorous event in support of a very worthy cause. 100% of the proceeds raised will be donated to the Out of Africa Children’s Foundation.

About the Out of Africa Children’s Foundation

The ‘Out of Africa Children’s Foundation’ is a non-profit organisation (083-015-NPO) with patrons Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Mrs South Africa, Chané de Kock. The ‘Out of Africa Children’s Foundation’ provides accommodation for the direct families of ill children from out of the Cape Town area during the child’s hospitalisation and recovery. It also provides a safe haven for abandoned and abused children. Your donation will:

(1) Contribute towards the creation of the 1st Children’s Hospice in South Africa

(2) Provide meals and education for the ‘Atlantis Children and Family Project’

(3) Help renovate two bathrooms in the Tygerberg Hospital in the oncology ward.

Banking Details:

• Beneficiary: Out of Africa Children’s Foundation

• Bank: ABSA

• Account number: 92 0111 6299

• Branch: Table View

• Branch code: 63-20-05

• Payment Reference: use ‘CBL’ followed by your full name

 

Fun & Glamour

The glamorous evening is going to be filled with great entertainment, delicious food and dancing. The Celebrate Life Ball is taking place at the stunning Val de Vie Estate in Paarl. The guests include friends, family members and anybody who would like to celebrate life. Most of the 23 Mrs. South Africa finalists will also attend the Celebrate Life Ball. Another exciting element is the fact that my Mrs. World dresses will be shown at the event. This, together with the worthy cause, sparked media interest in the Celebrate Life Ball, so I am excited to announce that the popular SABC program, Expresso Show, will be filming the event. Several newspapers will also be attending the event. So get your best dress and those dancing shoes ready because this is going to be a night to remember.

 

Aramex – OUR OFFICIAL SPONSOR

 

Aramex South Africa is our official sponsor of the Celebrate Life Ball. They are a leading global provider of comprehensive logistics and transportation services. What I like about Aramex is the fact that they believe that people are their most important asset and encourage creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship. Aramex was established 1982 and has rapidly evolved into a global brand. Aramex’s aim is to continuously reinforce their position as ons of the top global logistics and transportation companies by expanding their worldwide network by innovating solutions to meet customers’ evolving needs and serving their communities.

Please support them. Visit their website: www.aramex.co.za

Aramex

 

The blessing of being a mommy

Mother’s Day 2014 – blessed to be a blessing…

 

I’m not a perfect mom – I wish I was and I’ve been trying for a long time to be supermom, but I failed. I am a real woman, 100% human – just like my husband and children. But nothing will ever stop me to be the best mother I can possibly try to be to my 3 precious children. Sometimes our greatest enemy in enjoying being a mother is the fact that we feel guilty of not being good enough. Not always being there. Not always having the energy to do another “catch-me-if-you-can” game.

My story

It is true, parenthood can bring out the best and worst in you. Just to give you a bit of background in my journey called motherhood. I got married when I was 19 years old. Although that was something that I didn’t initially plan, love happens and I knew I couldn’t let this opportunity go of getting married to my wonderful husband. When he proposed… I said, “YES”, even though it was crazy. I had this picture in my mind of the two of us living professional lives. Loving our jobs, making money and live in this stylish upper-class apartment in New York or some place while changing the world. Both of us are extremely ambitious and strategic and were eager to start our professional lives as soon as we finished with our studies.

Then came the surprise: 3 days before my 21st birthday I felt bit nauseas. I thought I had a stomach bug, but found out later that day that I was 2 weeks pregnant with my first child! We used contraceptives, but it didn’t work so well J. I am not going to lie, it was not something that I planned for and I knew NOTHING about children! I was the youngest of my family and basically grown up between adults. I never changed a nappy and didn’t know anything about raising a child. I did a bit of au pair work in Oxford before I fell pregnant, but to tell you the truth, it was much more preferable to iron the shirts and wash the floor than to look after the lady’s 5 and 3 year old children. I always loved working with adults and even teenagers, but toddlers were not my cup of tea.

Even though motherhood did not come naturally to me at first, I luckily grasped the most important thing, namely:

This is a precious life that is given to me, and I have the ability to influence them to be a change agent in the world. The heart and mind of a child is the most incredible, precious gift you will ever receive in your life.  As a parent, particularly in their early years, your input is extremely valuable.

This is true happiness and unconditional love in action and is great fun, but HARD WORK! There were days where I thought I am going to loose my mind, but I can assure you that NOTHING in life comes close to the wonder of being a mother. It is a joy that you can’t describe. But it requires a lot. It requires that you find the balance into being self-less and full of character, but not loosing yourself in the process. Easy? No!

Mrs South Africa and children

As parents I think our most important job is to help our children to make wise choices in the world that we live in. We need to help them find their identity and ignite the flame of passion and vision that they carry in their hearts. Who knows what they will amount to? How exciting!

 

Being a mother of 3 children pushed me past the “romantic” side of being a mommy. It always looks so picture perfect in the Hollywood movies to see the kiddies around the Christmas tree with beaming faces and tucking them sweetly into bed at night. And yes, it’s fun, but I can assure you, you need a lot more than that!

I would also like to take this opportunity to celebrate my own mother, Sarie Potgieter. She is a woman with a heart of gold. Her selflessness, humility and femininity is something I will always look up to. Most of all, my mother is my friend. We can laugh together and cry together. That is what being a mother is all about.

All-and-all, there is nothing in my life that will ever compare to the blessing to be a mother. My mind is always focussed on my children… and the lives of the next generation. Let’s be proud of our role as mothers and instil GREATNESS in our children.

Happy Mother’s Day!!

Married for 10 years and the lessons I’ve learned as a young, modern wife

On the 2nd of April 2014 we celebrated our 10-year wedding anniversary! I got married at a very young age and now it is time to sit back and reflect on the time that has passed. To be quite honest, it was an interesting 10 years. I experienced the most hurtful situations, but I also experienced the most blessed times.

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This is grown-up life. You need to take responsibility for your choices, good or bad. You need to set an example, even if you feel down some days. You need to forgive, even if it is so difficult, because your children are watching you.

I once heard a story about a man that was struck with lightning. He died, but received a second chance when God asked him: “Did you learn to love?” He took an honest look at himself and discovered that he failed and went back to do it better the second time. I am challenged by this question myself. It is easy to say we love something. In fact, I think we use the words easily without giving much thought to it. We say: “I love sushi.” “I love shopping”, but to truly keep your love on, in the midst of all the situations we face in life, can be challenging! Can you honestly say you are kind, patient, forgiving, not holding grudges and loving to whatever life throws your way?

After these 10 years I developed a deep respect for my husband. He is the same every single day. He forgives so easily. He never holds grudges. He has a solid character and I learn so much from him. We are in the process together to learn what life and love is all about. I once watched the movie: About time. In the movie the actor can press the rewind button and redo his mistakes. As I look back on my 10 years, I wish I had that button and could redo all the things that I should have done better! But even though I stumbled and even though I made mistakes, I also know there were times I succeeded – where I set a great example to my kids. There were times when I loved abundantly and we enjoyed so many lovely memories together. There were times when I stepped out of my comfort zone and was very courageous.  There were times where I gave hope to a hopeless person.

Today I realise that we must enjoy life because it passes by so quickly. My son is 8 years old now. When we, God willing, celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary, he will be 18 years old – he will be an independent, grown man. I want to cherish my family and friends. I want to learn to love abundantly. Most of all, I want to learn to guard my mouth and heart so that I can be cautious with my words and actions because you can’t take them back once they are spoken. I want to please God in everything I do so that the next 10 years will be even better than the previous 10 years.

I would like to thank God for His amazing love in my life and for providing me with a very special husband, children, family and friends and all the blessings He put on my path. All glory to Him!

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The Complete Story

“The trouble with single stories and stereotypes are not that they are not true, it is that they are not complete.”

The Nigerian author, Chimamanda Adichie, started writing novels at the age of 7. She was raised in a middle class home in Nigeria. At that time she only read novels from England and America and therefor her own stories were about blonde girls with blue eyes, snow and ginger beer. All which was not part of the Nigerian culture. She gives an inspirational talk on how we can create a single story or stereotype of people. People sometimes see Africa as a continent with wild animals, beautiful landscapes and people fighting endlessly waiting for an other country to come and “safe” them. The African people are portrayed as voiceless. But is this story true? It might be, but it is not complete.

I see Africa as a continent with strong people. Yes, we do have wars and people fighting, but we also have people who know how to love beyond the pain. People who will go the second mile for one another. People who care for one another. I like to think of my continent as one that is richly blessed with not only resources, but also colorful people with big hearts.

I will choose not to believe a single story of my continent, Africa, or any other continent, because that story will simply be incomplete.

Watch this video below to see the inspirational talk from the Nigerian author, Chimamanda Adichie.

Today I will choose JOY

What makes you happy?

There are a lot of things in this life that can make us happy… and sad. That is life, I guess. As I put my son to bed I asked him to think of all his favourite things. Do you remember the all-time classic movie, The Sound of Music? When the lightning struck outside and all 7 children were scared, she asked them to think of beautiful things instead of focussing on the storm outside. She started singing: “Rain drops on roses and whiskers on kittens. Brown paper packages tied up with strings, these are a few of my favourite things. When the dog bites, when the bee stings, when I’m feeing sad. I simply remember my favourite things and then I don’t feel so bad.” 

I love to ask myself questions like this. What makes me happy? What are my favourite things? Today I want to ask you the same thing.

Life gives you what you choose and not necessarily what you wish for. If life was a series of wishes then we would all be wealthy and healthy and living in the lap of luxury and comfort. We have been given the power of choice but sometimes it is easier to blame our circumstances than to make any attempt to rise above them. Try this today: if life is treating you badly, think of something that makes you happy and rather focus on that one blessing. Enjoy your blessings.

These are some of the things that made me happy this past week.

1. Reading stories to my 3 children. Quality time is so important and even though I am Mrs SA, I will always put my children and husband first because this relationship that I have with them is vitally important to my success as a woman and Mrs SA. A special thanks to Claire Harries Photography who captures these precious moments!

Chane de Kock and family

2. Making raw chocolate mousse. By now you should gather that I am a chocolate fanatic, but try to wing it by taking it in a healthy form. I’ve discovered the gateway to heaven! This mousse tastes amazing and keeps well in the fridge for up a 1-week. The best of all is that it will help you loose weight as because the omega’s from the avocado will left you feel satisfied for longer and keeps away the cravings.

Raw chocolate mousse What makes you happy? There are a lot of things in this life that can make us happy... and sad. That is life, I guess. As I put my son, Daniel, to bed I asked him to think of all the lovely things. Do you remember the all-time classic movie, The Sound of Music? When the lightning struck outside and all 7 children were scared, she asked them to think of beautiful things instead of focussing on the storm outside. She started singing: "Rain drops on roses and whiskers on kittens. Brown paper packages tied up with strings, these are a few of my favourite things. When the dog bites, when the bee stings, when I'm feeing sad. I simply remember my favourite things and then I don't feel so bad.”  I love to ask myself questions like this. What makes me happy? What are my favourite things? Today I want to ask you the same thing.   Life gives you what you choose and not necessarily what you wish for. If life was a series of wishes then we would all be wealthy and healthy and living in the lap of luxury and comfort. We have been given the power of choice but sometimes it is easier to blame our circumstances than to make any attempt to rise above them. Try this today: if life is treating you badly, think of something that makes you happy and rather focus on that one blessing. Enjoy your blessings.  These are some of the things that made me happy this past week. 1. Reading stories to my 3 children. Quality time is so important and even though I am Mrs SA, I will always put my children and husband first because this relationship that I have with them is vitally important to my success as a woman and Mrs SA. 2. Making raw chocolate mousse. By now you should gather that I am a chocolate fanatic, but try to wing it by taking it in a healthy form. I've discovered the gateway to heaven! This mousse tastes amazing and keeps well in the fridge for up a 1-week. The best of all is that it will help you loose weight as because the omega's from the avocado will left you feel satisfied for longer and keeps away the cravings.  Raw chocolate mousse recipe 3/4 cup raw chocolate powder 4 avocados 1/4 cup coconut oil 1/2 - 1/3 cup real maple syrup 1/4 cup water 1 teaspoon vanilla extract Method: Blend everything together in a power blender. This recipe keeps well in the fridge for up to a week and actually improves in its taste! 3. Baking sugar-free pecan and maple muffins with my children on Sunday afternoon. I love to bake with my children, but can't take all the sugar that is in the recipes. I found this recipe with pecan nuts and then adjusted it so that it is sugar-free. Wow, definitely a must try! My kids love it (and adults as well) and it was also handy as a healthy snack for their lunch boxes this week.  Sugar-free pecan and maple muffin recipe 350g plain flour (I used stoneground flour) 150 g agave sugar 3/4 teaspoon salt 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda 375 ml milk 1 egg 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 70 g butter, melted 240 g pecans, chopped.  200 ml maple syrup Method: Preheat the oven to 170C. Put the flour, sugar, bicarb and baking powder in a large bowl. Put the milk, egg and vanilla in a jug and mix to combine. Add the two bowl together and mix until combined. Pour the melted butter, 100ml maple syrup and chopped pecans in and mix with a wooden spoon.  Spoon the mixture into the paper cases until two-thirds full and drizzle the remaining maple syrup over the tops. Finish with a pecan half in the centre of each one. Bake in the preh

Raw chocolate mousse recipe

3/4 cup raw chocolate powder

4 avocados

1/4 cup coconut oil

1/2 – 1/3 cup real maple syrup

1/4 cup water

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Method: Blend everything together in a power blender. This recipe keeps well in the fridge for up to a week and actually improves in its taste!

3. Baking sugar-free pecan and maple muffins with my children on Sunday afternoon. I love to bake with my children, but can’t take all the sugar that is in the recipes. I found this recipe with pecan nuts and then adjusted it so that it is sugar-free. Wow, definitely a must try! My kids love it (and adults as well) and it was also handy as a healthy snack for their lunch boxes this week.

Sugar-free pecan and maple muffin Sugar-free pecan and maple muffin

Sugar-free pecan and maple muffin recipe

350g plain flour (I used stoneground flour)

150 g agave sugar

3/4 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

375 ml milk

1 egg

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

70 g butter, melted

240 g pecans, chopped.

200 ml maple syrup

Method: Preheat the oven to 170C. Put the flour, sugar, bicarb and baking powder in a large bowl. Put the milk, egg and vanilla in a jug and mix to combine. Add the two bowl together and mix until combined. Pour the melted butter, 100ml maple syrup and chopped pecans in and mix with a wooden spoon.

Spoon the mixture into the paper cases until two-thirds full and drizzle the remaining maple syrup over the tops. Finish with a pecan half in the centre of each one. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 – 30 minutes. Enjoy!

I hope you have a Happy & Healthy week!

 

 

Ester turns 3 years old! Happy & Healthy Pink Princess Tea Party

How to create a #happy&healthy birthday party

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Believe it or not – you can create a beautiful, yummy AND healthy birthday party for your child!

This is exactly what Claire Harries, from Claire Harries photography, was able to capture when we celebrated my daughters 3rd birthday party. I don’t know about you, but I like beautiful tea parties. It needs to look nice and the food must be tasty too. Something that I don’t like about most parties is that you feel miserable afterwards. You either ate too much and feel guilty, or you feel physically sick from the overload of refined sugar and flour. Since I am very passionate about the next generation, it really bothers me to think that we allow our children to eat so much sugar and junk.

The aim of this blogpost is to leave you inspired and encourage you to treat yourself or your child with a happy and healthy party!

Tips on how to create a happy & healthy birthday party:

1. Serve the food before sweets. 

Children and adults alike are sometimes hungry when they arrive at the party. Serve the healthier options first and then follow with the cake or other sweets.

At Ester’s birthday party we made boxes filled with Woolies chicken meatballs, carrot and cucumber sticks, cherry tomatoes and cheese.

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2. Think out of the box and design a healthy cake!

I saw this picture at a Sainsbury’s 7 years ago and thought one day I want to make a Strawberry Ladybird Cake. This is healthy and beautiful. It really filled my heart with great joy to see the little angel girls walking around with their strawberry and blueberry ladybirds on the sticks. Beautiful and healthy and they enjoyed it thoroughly! I used Lindt white chocolate because I think that is the healthiest option.

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3. Include yummy items, but limit them and opt for stoneground flour (such as Eureka flour)

At a birthday party it is important to include some indulgence as well. My friend, Nicola Meyer, who owns La Fete, is a very talented macaroon queen. Her assistant, Dirkie, is an artist when it comes to biscuits and creating anything delicious and beautiful. I asked them to make pink heart macaroons and also biscuits that are designed specially for Ester. Since her birth, I always loved to sing this song to Ester: “Ester was die mooiste vrou, almal het van haar gehou. Sy was die koningin, maar ook aan God getrou.” It is a song for Queen Ester in the Bible, but she is also my little queen Ester. The song, when translated into English, says “Ester was the most beautiful woman – everybody liked her. She was the queen, but also faithful to God.” I love it, and so I’ve asked them to write that on the biscuits.

The biscuits were made from stoneground flour. We do not realise it, but they include over 60 preservatives and other texture enhancers in ordinary flour. The stoneground flour is without preservatives and chemicals. Small things make a huge difference.

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4. Make something healthy for the adults

This year I was rather creative – I surprised the ladies with a raw chocolate and mango tart. I must say, they are delicious! Everybody loved it. Best of all, it isn’t fattening at all. In fact, it promotes weight loss. The tarts contain no sugar, flour, butter or cream. Their main ingredient is 100% coconut oil. Coconut oil is a great source of omegas and therefore promotes a healthy skin and supports your metabolism. The raw chocolate flour also is a natural appetite suppressant and the chocolate tart tastes like a wonderful Lindt chocolate ganache tart! What is better than to enjoy yourself guilt-free!

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5. Include natural snacks and most importantly… HAVE FUN!

I love to use popcorn, fruit sticks and watermelon hearts at a birthday party. There are many ways of being creative by opting for natural alternatives instead of store-bought sweets and chips.

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Let’s think about the next generation and the fact that we want to raise happy & healthy children.

 

I am busy writing a book called, Happy & Healthy. This book contains healthy recipes, ideas and general tips and stories from Mrs. SA 😉 Watch this space!

A special thanks to Claire Harries Photography for the stunning pictures and my friend Nicola for your assistance with styling and the use of your stunning shop. I would also like to thank God who blessed me abundantly with my precious daughter, Ester!

 

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Being Mrs SA 2014 and a mother…

My passion for my family

I just love being a wife and mother. Sometimes fulfilling that role can be very daunting but at the end of the day there is NOTHING that will ever come close to the important role that you play in your family. I love my husband, Stephanus, and my 3 children. I spent 5 days away from them when I went to Johannesburg for Mrs. SA events and photo shoots. I missed them dearly, but it was good to have a productive time. When I came back, it was a big reunion!

We went to the fabulous Vergelegen Estate in Somerset West. This is really a place to visit, especially if you have a family. They have a great jungle gym, maze, healthy restaurant and deli and lovely picnic area. I was so impressed by their kiddies menu because they make their own fish fingers for the children from fresh hake and only use 100% meat in their burger patties. You might assume that all places do that, but let me tell you the truth. Some places (and yes, many of the prepackaged food we buy) use sharks to make fish fingers and they only use 68% meat in the burger patties. The rest is made up of “other items” such as cow lips etc. My children now always ask me if the burger is made of 100% beef and they are only 7 and 5 years old. You can educate your children about healthy and environmentally things from a young age. I also enjoyed a lovely butternut salad – my old time favourite!

This is what makes us different at Mrs. SA – we are real woman with real stories. We have families and have a bit of life experience behind us and we just love to embrace our femininity!

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Red cross children’s hospital – 14 February 2014

What better way to enjoy Valentine’s day than to visit the Red Cross Hospital and share love with children and see their precious smiles of joy? This is what life is all about and the truth still stands:

It is much better to give than to receive!

 

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Eve’s Journey Event at Val de Vie – 9 February 2014

My job as Mrs South Africa is not a job, it is a passion. A passion to let women know that they can dream. Yes, you are allowed to dream BIG. You don’t need to be in a perfect “state” to start on your journey of success. I certainly wasn’t “perfect” when I entered Mrs. South Africa and still sometimes make mistakes. The most important things is to know you are valuable and you were created with a unique voice – make it heard!

I love this quote from Marissa Mayer, CEO of Yahoo:

I always did something I was a little not ready to do. I think that’s how you grow. When there’s that moment of ‘Wow, I’m not really sure I can do this’, and you push through those moments, that’s when you have a breakthrough.

The Eve’s journey event was a great success. Although everything was breathtaking (the venue, food and styling of the event), the most beautiful thing was the fact that women came together to just connect and be real.

We can take of our masks; let our true selves be seen. Speak the truth and in the process aim to be the best version of ourselves in the midst of our imperfections.

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