Tag: women supporting women

Love Local – Meet The Creative Mastermind Behind Sugar & Paper Parties

Love Local – Meet The Creative Mastermind Behind Sugar & Paper Parties

Sometimes in life you have that one friend that completely takes your breath away in all that they do. Since meeting Liezl more than 2 years ago her talents have literally left me speechless on more than one occassion. She has supported and helped me with my blog on numerous occassions from a design point of view, is a photographer extraordinaire and more recently has launched a baking and design business Sugar & Paper.

As we kick off 2019’s “Love Local” Series, she was a no brainer to be the first to feature. I’ve showcased her skill a few times on my instagram page, but I really wanted to get more insight into how she has grown Sugar & Paper Parties and what her plans are for the year ahead. Be warned, this post will leave you drooling, not only does her baking look too good to eat, but it’s literally the most flavourful I have ever tasted too. I use Liezl for my boys parties and everyone always asks who made the cake! All of her details are at the end of the post to order. Youre welcome 🙂

For now, over to Liezl:

Tell me more about yourself and what you currently do?
I am a born and bred KZN girl and grew up on the south coast but moved inland to finish my
schooling. I have been married to Michael for almost 12 years, and have two children,
Amelia (6) and Diego (3.5). I am a freelance Graphic Designer, Party Planner and now,
baker 🙂

How did “Sugar & Paper Parties” come about?
I have done freelance Graphic Design since 2013, but having always loved parties and
baking, last year I decided to start my party planning business, Sugar & Paper. I call myself
“a celebration enthusiast” – I can conceptualise, design, coordinate and style your event,
and even bake the tasty treats. A one-stop-shop of good taste!

What did you study – was it in this field or something different?
I studied Graphic Design at Tech for 3 years.

What was your first job and how did you progress to this?
I have always been a Graphic Designer and when I was pregnant for the first time, I had all
intentions to go back to full-time graphic design work once our baby was born. But then
Amelia came along and I realised that I just could not leave her with a stranger and return to
work. So, I decided to stay at home with her and become a WAHM.

What have been the highlights of starting your own business?
The highlights so far have been the positive feedback from clients, their genuine happiness
drives me.

What’s the best part of your job?
Being able to dedicate my time to my children when they need me, while still having a creative

What is the most challenging part?
Obviously making sure you have enough clientele to cover your expenses. I am very
fortunate to have a supportive husband, who keeps us afloat most months. But I am really
proud to contribute financially when I can.

Describe a typical day in your life.
A typical day is that of most Moms – get the kids up and ready for school (while half-sleeping myself
as I always go to bed way too late!) Amelia and Diego attend school half-day, so I try get most
work done during the day (design-wise) and spend the afternoons with my kids, running
errands, etc. I also work at night once they are asleep and I’ve finished all the household
stuff (I’mnot the best domestic but I do try!)

What are the “secrets” to your success?
I don’t think I have any secrets to success just yet – ask me in a year’s time 🙂

How do you balance having a family (being an amazing mum and wife) and starting your own
It can be difficult at times, as a small business is like another child and demands just as much
attention! Fortunately, my kids are a bit older now so play well on their own together if I am very
busy (although that does often seem to end up with more mess than I’d expect!) I do sometimes
have to bake and source party paraphernalia with my tiny business partners in tow! They
don’t mind as they enjoy it and I try involve them in small ways, like baking extra cookies for them to decorate while I am busy. The juggle between being an entrepreneur, wife and
mom…and still being yourself too, is a challenge but I’m hoping 2019 is my year to master it!

What is your dream for Sugar and Paper?
I hope to build Sugar & Paper into a brand that people will immediately think of when it comes to
parties. Right now, I seemed to have slid more into the cookie side of my talents, but hope that I will
be able to become ever more involved in the design side too.

Any tips for people wanting to take the leap and start their own business?
It’s a scary endeavour but you will never look back!

Please show me how the hell you make your cookies so incredibly perfect ? 🙂 🙂 🙂 Will you give
lessons one day?
I’ve been asked by numerous people if I’d host lessons on cookies! 🙂 Cookies are finicky and a lot of
cookiers will agree that everything we do comes down to personal preference so for me, it would be
a difficult thing to “teach”. Also, I am a bit of a control freak, so may have to sit on my hands in order
not to cut in and just décorate everyone’s cookies for them ha ha

You can visit my websites www.sugarandpaper.co.za (Party Planning) and
www.lastveigas.com (Graphic Design), follow my instagram feed @sugarandpaperparties.
Otherwise, I can be contacted on hello@sugarandpaper.co.za for party stuff,
hello@lastveigas.com for design work, or call me 0732881013.


Sugar & Paper Parties and In these Stilettos are giving away a box of “Mixed Love” for Valentines Day! The perfect box of cookies to spoil yourself (or a loved one if you can bear to share.)

All you have to do is make sure you are following @sugarandpaperparties on instagram (Ill check) and @IntheseStilettos and comment on the pic on my feed.

Winner will be announed via Instagram on Sunday 10 February 2019

On Comparison

On Comparison

Have you got a cup of coffee in hand? Get comfy, because this post is a little longer than usual….

I want to talk about comparison, and why as women (actually as humans) we all do it so much and why the unhealthy kind, drives me bonkers. Firstly, know that its natural, and it has been around for as long as the world has existed. Everyone compares. Its all around us, beauty pagents, sports days, competitions. We are bred to want to be the best and “have” the best. But what is “the best?”

I walk into my friends pristine, well laid out, interior designed houses’ and I wish with every inch of my soul that I could have a house like that. I see others with gorgeous big gardens and I find myself dreaming and googling the day away searching for a townhouse that still has a decent sized garden. I am also, naturally, one of the most competitive people I know. I have been since I was a child, but, I like healthy competition and I use it to motivate me to be a better person. On the other hand, I have people telling me, “you’re a super mom”, how do you do it all (I don’t ,but that’s another story). But why do we feel the need to compare? A couple of people have said to me that they have stopped following certain people on social media as they “made them feel like bad moms”. FIRSTLY: There is NO such thing as a “SUPER MOM” (or superwomen if you aren’t a mom). There is no such thing as the “perfect mom”. Every single one of us is perfect in our own way. Every single one of us is trying to juggle multiple balls in the air without slipping on a piece of lego and breaking their necks. Every one of us has our own strengths. That’s what makes us perfect.

I have noticed an alarming trend in my “mum circles”. The number of women I know who are on some sort of medication for anxiety, panic or depression is increasing at an alarming rate. Literally almost 90% of the women I know take some sort of medication to help them cope with the day to day of these debilitating conditions. In the last 10 years the use of antidepressants has increased by 80%. Yes, awareness of post-natal depression and anxiety has increased, and stigmatization has decreased which absolutely leads to more openness, which is fantastic. But, as a “fixer”, It saddens me, I want to know what is causing it? Why is there such a need, why are we struggling within ourselves?”

I am not a doctor, nor did I further my psychology degree past undergraduate level, but logic tells me it is largely linked to pressure and of course the huge lack of, or broken sleep, mums go through (it’s a proven torture method). In those “early sleepless stages” of being a new mum, two things got me through: Firstly, the daily mantra of “this too shall pass”. The sleepless nights, the daily colic, this is a phase and one day it will be over (and it was), so take one day at a time and know that the sun will shine again. The second was; “It is normal” – It’s natural to have your hormones go into overdrive, to be weepy one day and then the next few weeks have no feeling at all because you are just too tired. (disclaimer here: postnatal depression is very very real, and sometimes it is not natural to feel a certain way so please please don’t be afraid to speak to someone).

Pressure not only comes from work and home life, but 360-degrees, from all angles. Trying to “live up” to certain “societal standards” of what the perfect wife and mum should be. Pushing to get that perfectly toned body, to make that perfect dinner, to do that activitity with the kids or to be something or someone that is not true to yourself.

That leads me to talking about social media……

It’s a 2-sided sword for many people. For me personally, social media is motivation. I have never once thought “oh my gosh that woman makes me look so bad”, because, my gosh, there’s a lot of you out there with such incredible talent. If I compared myself to all the incredible women out there, I would have already dug my own grave. I use it as a motivational tool to inspire me. I first turned to social media when I would look for ideas and activities to do with my kids. That’s how my blog blossomed. I realised that a lot of mothers out there wanted ideas and we could all learn from each other. We needed to share the best places to go or relevant, age appropriate activities for our kids. I used it to connect and grow. It was never about “who can do it better”, it was about sharing, and learning. For some people however, it is used as a comparison. Theodore Roosevelt once said “Comparison is the thief of joy.” , so lets turn it around. Use it with purpose, don’t just mindlessly scroll. Use it with intent; to inspire, create or share in a community.

Let me share my flaws: My house is not how I want it, there is so much I would love to do but I have no clue where to start. Its mismatched and messy, but that’s not where my talents lie. I used to enjoy cooking, nowadays it’s a “means to an end” and I just cook whatever I can muster up the energy to after a long day at work. I aspire to be like some of the gourmet chefs I follow on Instagram, (Naqiyah Mayet, you should offer lessons :)), but, at this point, I am not that mum. I may be in the future, but that’s not the chapter I am in right now. In terms of my marriage, I’m not the best wife by far! I fall asleep with the kids most nights and end up leaving my poor hubby to watch TV by myself, but I do have other strengths. I do know one thing though: I LOVE my husband more than the world. I appreciate him and all that he works so hard to provide, faults and all. I love him. I adore my children, more then I can ever put into words, and I miss them so much in the day my heart aches. I know that life has seasons, stages and chapters. So perhaps, in the future, when I have more time and my kids have a more exploratory palette I’ll find my joy in cooking again, maybe one day when my focus is not so much on buying month to month essentials; I’ll be able to spend a bit more money on my house. But for now, my chapter is trying to find that balance between work, my kids and my hubby. Trying to raise well balanced, well mannered boys, who are not materialistic.

I accept that I’m not perfect. I know my faults, and I try to own them. (Ask my husband, I am so messy I literally need someone to follow me around the house :), but I am improving!)

So please mama’s, let’s not compare, lets appreciate and see other’s strengths and admire each other for them. You have your own, you may not see it yourself, but your children will. Your loved ones will. We are stronger as a community and if we all utilise one another’s strengths, instead of trying to compete against one another, we will lift each other up. Maybe your strength is making pretty lunchboxes for your kids, and maybe it’s not, but that’s okay. Remind yourself that what you see on other people’s “outsides” cannot compare to what your value is on the “inside”. KNOW YOUR VALUE. Your life is what YOU make of it. So live the best life you possibly can! Whether you find your joy in creating art with food and beautiful spaces, or whether you find your joy, like me, in watching young minds learn, explore and mess 🙂 Find your joy and let It fly!

I hope this post makes sense and I hope we can all support each other and lift each other up. We are all just trying to be the best humans/wives/mothers we can be. Be proud of who you are and what you offer. You are unique and that’s what makes you perfect!