Meet The Mom Blogger Who Is 'Selcouth' And So Much More!
Let me begin by saying that "rare is it the mom blogger that actually makes me look up a word." And yet, Maz did, when describing herself as selcouth in her interview below. Needless-to-say, once I figured out what that word meant, I couldn't help but realize just how selcouth Maz actually is -- with this unique instance hitting that point home for certain.
Maz is definitely a one-of-a-kind mom blogger. I say this, not-so-much because she blogs about unusual things as her blog posts remain absolutely 'relevant' to motherhood, home-life, cooking, and a variety of other topics moms normally blog about. But unlike most mom bloggers, Maz possesses an edginess and candor that ignites her writings -- similar to what you would experience if you threw gasoline on a campfire. She's a'blaze alright, which makes her a whole lotta fun to read.
A fashion designer, living in South Africa, who suffers from several forms of depression and anxiety, adores her kids and hubby, and began her blog merely as an act of home-grown therapy, Maz is amazingly good at 'keepin it real' and sharing that "realness" in a way that makes her eccentricities understandable, relatable, and enjoyable to read.
In other words, do not expect to be bored when reading her blog, Caffeine and Fairydust, nor her interview below. Her selcouth nature will keep you entertained without question.
What is your full name?
Mariza Halliday, but everyone just refers to me as Maz
Where do you live?
I live in one of the most beautiful places in the world – Cape Town, South Africa! We have a little bit of everything, and we are incredibly lucky to call this place our home.
How many children do you have?
Two gorgeous little kids (and three, if you count in my husband). We also have three awesome fur babies.
If you were asked to describe yourself in one word, what would that word be?
What is your personal mantra?
“It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate,
I am the captain of my soul.”
Do you believe you have a “life’s purpose?” If so, share it.
The only true purpose in my life is to create a safe and loving environment for my children, and to guide them towards becoming the best versions of themselves that they could possibly be.
Tell us about you and your life.
I am not your average cookie-cutter mom. I am heavily tattooed, but I am also a career woman. By day, I work as a Senior Fashion Designer -- supplying ladies fashion to one of our country’s leading retailers. At night, my name changes to Mom and I become a chef-nurse-housekeeper-doctor-cleaner-financial adviser-personal shopper-teacher-CEO-taxi driver-cheerleader-psychiatrist-hair stylist-champion tickler-PA-events director-story teller- and the writer of my little blog – Caffeine And Fairydust. I am a Vegan and animal-right’s activist. I try really hard to balance being a full-time working mom, wife, friend and home-maker. My life is pretty much perfect, yet I live with Chronic Depression, Chronic Insomnia and Anxiety. I am very open about mental illness and try and support people going through it. I suppose I am just different, but then again – so is everyone else, and that is all right.
Finish this sentence, “The best part about being a mom is _____.”
The insane spectrum of emotion it allows you to feel. Feeling it all, good or bad, gives my life purpose. Motherhood is walking around with all of your nerve-endings raw and exposed. It is the most extreme measure of being alive.
How long have you been blogging for? Do you blog for any group blogs or websites beyond your own?
I have only been blogging for a little over a year, but I have learned and gained so much in this short time! I also just started my own column "Straight Talk With Maz" on Tums 2 Tots, a South African online parenting magazine.
What is the name of your blog? When was it launched?
Caffeine and Fairydust - I launched it in September 2015!
Share with us the significance of the name of your blog to you. How did you come up with it?
I am not actually sure. Coffee is my lifeline, and I like the idea of magic and creating a space where your mind can wonder and anything is possible. The name just came to me and got stuck in my head. Everyone needs a little bit of fairy dust in their lives, especially when it comes to the difficult journey of parenthood.
What is the primary focus of your blog?
Definitely parenting, but I have been focusing a lot on lifestyle as well. Being a mom is what I know best. People always ask me why, as a fashion designer, I don’t blog about fashion – but this blog is my escape. I don’t want to bring work home into my home.
What makes your blog unique?
That is a difficult one. My blog is very personal, every single touch – from the font, to the layout, to the header, to the content – is a little extension of myself. We are all unique, so I suppose my blog is unique just for the fact that I am always myself on it. What you see is what you get.
Tell us about your blog, including what you hope to accomplish through it.
To be honest, it started off as a complete hobby -- a cheap form of therapy. It grew so rapidly and eventually, it actually became a source of income. Monetizing my blog gave me an immense feel of accomplishment. I hope to turn it into a steady income business, without compromising how personal it is. I am hoping to pay a bit more attention to it. Life gets so busy, and sometimes, my little online space falls quite low on my list of priorities. I hope to post more regularly and to grow it into an awesome, relatable, online community. Hopefully, one day, I can even get to a point where I can pay guest writers to write for the site; that would be awesome!
Are you a Brand Ambassador and if so, for which companies?
Not really. I do feature quite a few brands on my site, but they have to tick all the boxes. I am super picky when it comes to the companies and products I promote, review or allow to advertise.
Beyond your blog, do you engage in other social media outlets such as Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, etc.?
I have a lovely social media following. I am active on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. Don’t be shy, come say hi!
What is the one piece of advice you would give to moms who may be interested in beginning a blog?
It is hard work; it is not just a freebie, joy ride – trust me. You have to do it for YOU. You have to love it, stay true to yourself, and know that you might not always have time for it. You have kids that rely on you for every single thing in life; so it is to just do what you can, when you can. If your content is good, people will read it; they don’t care if you only post once a week. They will still love you.
Do you support – either formally or informally – a particular social cause?
Beauty Without Cruelty is probably the leading social cause I support. I am also planning to work on some local children’s charities this year.
When all is said and done, what is the one thing you hope your loved ones and those who knew you remember about you?
That I love them fiercely; that everything I do, I do for the future of my children; and that I was a strong and independent woman with integrity.
Nope, 'typical' aint in this lady's repertoire. What is, however, is an enormous amount of caffeine, apparently; an even bigger heart and penchant for mothering; and a strong belief that fairies actually do exist...and come in all forms.
Maz, you might be right. Afterall, you stumped me with selcouth. The last thing I am going to do, at this time, is claim that I know it all after being so artfully dusted by your clever self. The first, is to make Caffeine and Fairydust a regular stop on my reading trail. Your selcouth-i-ness has awakened my own edgy side and - in that - I'm excited to read and see what's next...for the both of us!